Ghana stroll into semis

2015-02-01 22:02

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Ghana reached a fifth straight Africa Cup of Nations semifinal with a 3-0 stroll over a disappointing Guinea, thanks to goals from Christian Atsu and Kwesi Appiah.

Ghana will meet hosts Equatorial Guinea in the second semifinal on Thursday after a confident display in the last-eight clash.

Everton’s Atsu gave the Group C winners control of the match early on following a third-minute opener and Appiah doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime, firing home from close range after a defensive howler.

Atsu then added a sublime third midway through the second half.

Despite making only his first start for the national side, Appiah was influential in the opening goal, running down the left before playing in André Ayew who back-heeled across the box leaving Atsu to apply the finish.

The rest of the half was punctured by fouls and regular stoppages, before Appiah, who plays in England’s fourth tier with Cambridge United, increased Ghana’s grip on the game.

The lively forward was quick to pounce on a Baissama Sankoh miss-kick following a Boubacar Fofana backpass, making no mistake with a sharp finish past Naby Yattara.

Atsu, the game’s outstanding performer, then added a magical third on 60 minutes when he fired a curling left-footed shot into the far corner of Yattara’s goal from outside the box and from a tight angle.

The goalkeeper was sent off in the dying moments of the match after a late flying kick on Asamoah Gyan.

Ghana were convincing, but Guinea did not do themselves justice and looked weary throughout.

Michel Dussuyer’s squad had enjoyed an unlikely run to this stage, qualifying for the tournament despite not being allowed to play any games at home due to the Ebola epidemic and squeezing out of Group D after beating Mali through the drawing of lots.

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