Ghana book their spot in Afcon quarter-final

Ghana became the second team to secure a place in the quarter-final of the Africa Cup of Nations after skipper Asamoah Gyan secured them a 1-0 win against Mali.

The Black Stars were patient in their buildup and were rewarded in the 20th minute when Gyan headed the ball into the back of the net from a pin-point cross by Jordan Ayew.

Ghana boasted ball possession in the opening half but were unable to turn it into goalscoring opportunities.

Mali was nowhere to be found and the Black Stars did not capitalise on the situation and put the game to rest.

Despite trailing by one goal, the Eagles showed no urgency on the ball and were happy to stroke the ball around in their defensive third.

However, coach Alain Giresse must have given his side a good tongue-lashing at the break as Mali came out fighting in the second half.

Giresse introduced Kalifa Coulibaly and Yves Bissouma into the Mali attack which upped the tempo for the Eagles. Bissouma bossed the midfield and Coulibaly found himself with some good chances in the box.

Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah produced some match-winning saves late in the game to secure maximum points and top Group D.

The Black Stars were given no room to breathe and Oumar Sissoko had no work to do in the second half. The Ghanaians held on to their 1-0 lead and move on to the quarter-final with Senegal.

GROUP A Pld Pts
Portugal 3 7
Mexico 3 7
Russia 3 3
New Zealand 3 0
GROUP B Pld Pts
Germany 3 7
Chile 3 5
Australia 3 2
Cameroon 2 1
GROUP C Pld Pts
GROUP D Pld Pts
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