The Black Stars of Ghana have qualified for the quarter finals of the on-going Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football tournament after winning their second game on Saturday.
Skipper Asamoah Gyan netted the lone goal after 21 minutes with a fine header past the Malian goalkeeper Oumar Sissoko. Jordan Ayew provided the perfect in-swing cross that Asamoah made no mistake heading.
Ghana now joins Senegal in the quarter finals after they also won their opening two matches in the group.
The game watched by a fair crowd saw the two teams play a matched up game after 20 minutes before Ghana started to drive forward more with Jordan Ayew causing more havoc with his runs.
Mali’s Mustapha Yatabar also had his headed ball miss the target by inches earlier.
In the second half, the Mali team threw more men up front and kept Ghana on the defensive panel for most of the game. Defender Hamari Traore had his shot also miss the target after 69 minutes.
Ghana substituted Gyan while Mali continued to attack in numbers. Substitute Kalifa Coulibaly had his close shot parried back by Ghana’s goalkeeper Razak Brimah at the stroke of full time.
It was all celebrations for the Ghana players after the referee from Algeria Mehdi Abid Charef blew the final whistle.
“It feels good to score for my country after a long time. It is sweet to qualify for the last eight before even the last group game,” Gyan told Xinhua after the match.
Ghana will now wait to play Egypt in their last group game on Wednesday, the same day Uganda battles Mali. Enditem