Ghana limp into last eight

2014-01-21 21:28

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Ghana booked their place in the quarterfinals with an uninspiring 1-0 win over Ethiopia in their final Group C African Nations Championship (Chan) encounter at the Free State Stadium.

Kwabena Adusei converted from the penalty spot in the 77th minute after Salahadin Hussen was adjudged to have fouled Seidu Bancey inside the box.

The Black Stars went through as group winners with seven points and will face the runner’s up from Group D in the quarterfinals at the Free State Stadium on Saturday.

Libya (five points) finished in second spot after a near-scare where they fought back to draw 2-2 with the Republic of Congo (four points) in a simultaneous fixture played in Polokwane.

Ghana will enter the next phase with big worries, especially upfront where they have scored just three goals in the three games played and struggled even more against the Ethiopians until they were saved by the spot kick.

The burly Yahaya Mohammed was suspended for the game having picked up two yellow cards.

Ghana were hardly a threat in a mediocre first half. Their only meaningful effort was Michael Akkufo’s tame shot in the 23rd minute which was easily held by Jemal Bushra in the Ethiopian goal.

Akkufo came close on the hour mark again with his free-kick from the edge of the box going narrowly wide of goal.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia and their colourful legion of supporters will board a flight home tomorrow with no points and no goals to show in the competition.

The East Africans have been blunt in all their three losses in the group. They shaded the first half as chances falling for Behailu Gebze and Fasika Gebregiorgis failed to find the back of net.

The side’s captain, Adane Girma, nearly produced a moment of magic with an acrobatic bicycle kick shortly before the break sailing narrowly over the goalposts.

They fell away in the second half as morale dropped even further after the Ghanaians took the lead from the penalty spot.

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