The Black Stars of Ghana slip through to the quarter finals of the African Cup of Nations after racing over the Stallions of Burkina Faso in a 1-0 game. It was a nervy game that saw the Stallions taking over the midfield in most parts of the game but Ghana’s youngster Dede Ayew was too much for the experience opponents.
Ayew’s brilliant free header from colleague Samuel Inkoom’s 30th minute excellent cross was too much for goal keeper Diakite to save. After the goal the tempo of the game went high but an inexperience Ghana side struggled to hold the midfield in most parts of the first half of the last Group B game of the African Cup of Nations.
Striker Pitroipa of the Stallions piled a lot of pressure on the Black Stars’ defence and came close to scoring in the 7th minute but experience Wigan goalkeeper Richard Kingson pushed the ball out of his post.
Striker Mathew Amoah nearly put Ghana in the lead within the 9th minute but a terrible blast went way over goalkeeper Diakite’s goal post.
As the game wore on in the 18th minute the Stallions gained a lot of possessions with their one-two short and long passes. They took control of the midfield to give a lot of respite for their goalie.
The much tipped Stallions failed to capitalized on the several free kicks in the danger zones of their opponents and intermittently allowed Ghana to dictate the pace of the game. Four yellow cards – three against the Burkinabes and one for Ghana – were recorded in the first half.
Just on the 45th minute mark Amoah could have topped up the goal of Ghana to two but drove the ball too wide at the far left of the goal post. Coach Duarte’s charges lifted their game in the early minutes of the second half but failed to convert most of their chances into productive goals.
Ghana’s eleven Haminu Dramann wasted a lot of chances that could have given his side a comfortable lead in the epic game that sent both fans’ blood pressures high. He flashed a cross in the face of the Burkinabe’s goal post but his team mate Amoah was too late to connect into the net.
During the 61st minute mark Koneh was too slow to connect a brilliant free kick to equalize for his side and after four minutes his team mate Tall received the marching orders for invisibly elbowing Asamoah Gyan.
Dramann had a lot of space to once again give Ghana a commanding lead in the 76th minute but sliced the ball too hard into the left side net of Diakite. The Stallions could have smiled all the way into the quarter finals but a poorly taken free kick from goal poacher Dagano in the 93rd minute sent them out of the competition with just a single point.
Ghana now have a herculean task to beat host Angola in their next quarter final match.