Angola out as Black Stars shine

Hosts fail to take chances as Ghana reach Africa Cup semis with 1-0 win.


    Angola's Flavio shows his frustration as Ghana book a semi-final berth [AFP]

    Ghana knocked hosts Angola out of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 quarter-final win in front of 50,000 home fans at the November 11 Stadium.

    The Black Stars reached the semi-finals for the second consecutive tournament through an early breakaway goal from Rennes striker Asamoah Gyan.

    Angola's Manucho missed three clear chances for his side as the Palancas Negras failed in their bid to reach the last four for what would have been the first time in their history.

    The visitors took the lead in the 16th minute on Sunday when Gyan raced onto a long ball from Kwadwo Asamoah, outstripping Angola captain Kali to slide the ball right-footed across Fernandes Carlos into the net.

    It came just after defender Lee Addy had twice almost scored an own goal, sticking a foot out to two high balls and nearly lobbing his furious goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

    Ghana captain Kingson was called into action again as he scampered across his goal on the half hour to keep out a header from the unmarked Manucho after a cross from the right by returning striker Flavio.

    Manucho then missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise one minute before the end of the half.


    Flavio contested a high ball with two defenders and Kingson, who failed to clear it before the Angolan stabbed it to the feet of Manucho.

    But the Real Valladolid striker rushed his shot, slipping as he ballooned over from 12 yards out to the anger of the 50,000-strong crowd.

    Ghana played an effective containing game in the second half, and when Angola did win the ball they wasted their opportunities with some poor passing in the buildup.

    With 20 minutes left the hosts piled on the pressure, with Manucho winning a free kick just outside the area which Gilberto hit off the wall and over.

    Then Manucho again failed to hit the target when he rose unchallenged to meet a cross from Job.

    Results & fixtures

    Sunday January 24

     Angola 0-1 Ghana
     Cote d'Ivoire v Algeria

    Monday January 25

     Egypt v Cameroon
     Zambia v Nigeria

    Thursday January 28

     Winner Q/F 1 v Winner Q/F 4
     Winner Q/F 2 v Winner Q/F 3

    Saturday January 30

     3/4 playoff

    Sunday January 31


    Ghana could have gone 2-0 up with ten minutes left when Asamoah hit a vicious half volley from range that was turned away by Carlos.

    And in five minutes of added time, a long ball by Angola substitute Ze Kalanga was just too high for Kali six yards out, before the captain went one-on-one with Kingson from a Manucho knockdown.

    But his scrambled effort was cleared as it bounced wide of the right post.

    The result is one to savour for Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac after the Serb called up eight players from last year's successful Under-20 World Cup campaign, as well as losing senior players like Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari before the tournament.

    He was also forced to do without star midfielder Michael Essien after the Chelsea player injured a knee after the opening 3-1 Group B defeat to Cote d'Ivoire before a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso saw them into the quarters in second place.

    But it is bitterly disappointing for Angola, who finished top of Group A after a 4-4 draw with Mali, a 2-0 win over Malawi and a scoreless draw against Algeria, as Kali walked round the pitch afterwards consoling his players.

    Ghana will play the winners of Monday's quarter-final between Zambia and Nigeria.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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