Sports News of Sunday, 29 January 2017
The Ayew brothers Jordan and Andre were scorers as Ghana dispatched DR Congo 2-1 to reach the semi-final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
It was Jordan who turned home an opportunistic strike which was a curler for the opener just after the hour mark.
But DR Congo levelled five minutes later through Mpoku to give the Congolese hope but their flames were snuff out by an Andre penalty on 68 minutes.
DR Congo could have shot into the lead in the seventh minute when he profited from a defensive blunder.
Harrison Afful’s back header was allowed to roll towards goal by Daniel Amartey and Dieumerci Mbokani sneaked in behind and rounded up goalkeeper Brimah but his attempt came off the side post.
It was late until a real attacking move was made when Mbokani controlled well and set up Junior Kabananga Kalonji who fired high and above target.
On the half-hour mark it was DR Congo who threatened after an untidy clearnance by the Black Stars on a corner-kick the Leopards lacked the cutting.
By this point, the Congolese were slightly on top in terms of territorial dominance
On the 37th minute mark, Paul-Jose M’Poku lifted a ball over to Mbokani but the Hull City striker controlled well inside the box but surprisingly shot off target with his left foot.
Five minutes to half-time Mbokani shot powerfully from outside the box but Brimah denied him a double save- he spilled his first attempt.
Kabananga was involved in a manacing move and played a one-two with Mbokani but the former could not control the return pass inside the box.
Ghana did not construct any goal scoring opportunity and did not test goalkeeper Ley Matampi.
Andre was first to test Matampi when he raced with a ball to the left side inside the box before delivering a shot but the goalkeeper coolly collected it
Wakaso’s free kick which bounced in front of the keeper was cleared out with the help of Matampi’s knees.
Soon after that Jordan who made gains inside the box when he intelligently lobbed the ball past one defender, then another and got tripped but the ball dropped to Amartey whose shot at goal was once again blocked by Matampi.
Jordan did not disappoint when he had a break but he ran out of gas and invited Acheampong whose return went to an opponent.
Kabananga then delivered a snapshot attempt inside the Ghana box which took a deflection for a corner.
Just after the hour mark, Jordan delivered a masterclass and he controlled a threaded pass and eliminated Merveille Bope Bokadi before curling home.
The celebrations were short lived when Mpoku smashed a long range effort past goalkeeper Brimah. It was a cracking effort in the 68th minute.
Atsu won a penalty after skipping past Joyce Lomalisa Mutambala who tripped him from behind inside the box.
Referee Bernard Camille did not hesitate at all to point to the spot and Ayew from West Ham United perfectly slotted home by sending the goalkeeper to the wrong way.
Substitute Bakambu unleashed a thunderbolt but Brimah was alert and dived to palm it away fro a corner kick.
Atsu came close to doubling the lead when he went past Tisserand and entered the box but his right footed effort was blocked by goalkeeper and diverted away for a corner.
Ghana put a tight defensive display to protect the lead and send them through to the semi-final against Cameroon on Wednesday.