Ghana’s Black Stars booked a place in the quarter-finals of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations with a game in Group D to spare after beating Mali 1-0 on Saturday.
An Asamoah Gyan goal in the 20th minute ensured that Ghana sail through after their second group game at the tournament.
The Stars dominated the early exchanges with Christian Atsu’s incursion on the right side of attack a mouthful for the Malian defenders.
One of such incursions in the 16th minute presented West Ham United’s Andre Ayew a begging chance to put the 2015 finalists ahead.
But Ayew’s left foot sent the shot wide off the goal.
The Stars recovered from that miss four minutes later when Wakaso sent a searching cross to Ayew’s brother, Jordan, whose pinpoint cross found Gyan in the penalty area.
The United Arab Emirates-based striker headed home what became the winner. That goal was Gyan’s sixth consecutive tournament goal, having scored at Ghana 2008, Angola 2010, Equatorial Guinea/Gabon 2012, South Africa 2013 and Equatorial Guinea 2015 previously.
Two big saves from goalkeeper Razak Braimah in the dying minutes of the game ensured that the Stars went home with all three points.
Ghana have six points from their two games in the tournament.
They will next play record title holders Egypt on Wednesday, January 25 while Mali play Uganda’s Cranes. Those two will be final group matches of the tournament.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana
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