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 |  Thursday, 27-July-2017

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Discipline News >> Football
Gallant Ghana Reach Nations Cup finals

Four-time champions Ghana, inspired by Asamoah Gyan's first half goal have qualified for the African Nations Cup finals thanks to 1-0 win over bitter rivals Nigeria.

The result at the November 11 Stadium in Luanda maintained Ghana's hopes of a fifth title dream as the Black Stars reach the finale first after 18 years.


Back in 1992, Ghana defeated Nigeria in the same competition to reach the finals and again, the Black Stars repeated the same feat.


Striker Asamoah Gyan scored the decisive goal on 21 minutes nodding in from a corner kick as Ghana await the winner of the Algeria-Egypt clash in the finals on Sunday in Luanda.


In a first-half played at a slow pace, Nigerian enjoyed larger spells of possession as Ghana sat back and always went on the counter in the early stages of the match.


Nigeria seemed to push and as Ghana broke on the left, the Black Stars earned a a corner kick.


Kwadwo Asamoah delivered his cross to the front post with Gyan nipping in to head in past goalkeeper Enyeama on 21 minutes. The goal was the striker's third in the competition.


Gyan went close again when he tried to lob Vincent Enyeama but the ball went over the bar.


Ghana were forced into an early substitution as Opoku Agyemang was taken off for Haminu Draman.


Nigeria pushed with their best chance of the afternoon falling to Obafemi Martins but his attempt to equalize drew a fine save from Ghana captain Richard Kingson. 


The Super Eagles went close with efforts from Peter Odemwingie trying his luck from outside the area.


Ghana's Haminu Draman and Nigeria's Yussuf Ayila have both picked yellow cards in the first half.


The second period resumed with the Super Eagles earning two quick corner kicks in three minutes.


Late Nigeria surge

Late Nigerian SurgeAn attack saw Samuel Inkoom block Odemwingie’s close shot with his body.


Ghana made a second change just less than ten minutes with Adu Sarpei who had played on with a first half injury coming off for Ibrahim Ayew.


Nigeria kept on throwing everything at Ghana as Anthony Annan was yellow carded by referee Daniel Bennett.


Kwadwo Asamoah managed to skip past two Nigerian defenders and headed into the box but miscued his angled shot way off target.


A good chip by Mikel Obi released Martins into the Ghana box but goalkeeper Kingson blocked Martins’ lob before the second effort was wasted by the Nigerians.


Two more Ghana players Samuel Inkoom and Richard Kingson were shown the yellow card.


The Black Stars reacted well but Agyemang Badu’s shot missed narrowly though Enyeama had his post covered after a move with Andre Ayew.


Nigeria never stopped as they continued to hit the long balls in the Ghana area with Isaac Vorsah and Lee Addy with assistance from Inkoom and Ibrahim Ayew having a difficult time dealing with the surge 


Ghana's goalkeeper Kingson made a couple of fine saves to deny Martins as he had to stick out his leg to block an attempt.


Milovan Rajevac sent on Mathew Amoah for Asamoah Gyan as Ghana continued to reel under pressure.


As the game neared the closing stages, with four minutes of added time to play, the Black Stars occasionally broke forward but failed to make any impact.


However, the final chance on the day fell to Ghana but Haminu Draman failed to find Amoah as his cross rather went over.


Starting team: Richard Kingson, Samuel Inkoom, Hans Adu Sarpei/Ibrahim Ayew, Lee Addy, Isaac Vorsah, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu, Andre Ayew, Anthony Annan, Asamoah Gyan/Mathew Amoah, Kwadwo Asamoah, Opoku Agyemang/Haminu Draman


Subs: Philemon McCarthy, Ibrahim Ayew, Mathew Amoah, Moussa Narry, Ransford Osei, Jonathan Mensah, Haminu Draman, Eric Addo, Daniel Adjei, Dominic Adiyiah, Harrison Afful 


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