Black Stars cruise to semi-finals
Ghana cruised to the semi-finals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations with 2-1 victory over DR Congo at the Oyem Stadium on Sunday.
Two goals from the Ayew brothers ensured Ghana’s progress in the competition despite the absence of Asamoah Gyan.
After a barren first half which saw the Congolese dominating and creating several chances with Mokani getting the first chance in the fifth minute after a miscommunication between Harrison Afful and Razak Braimah was missed narrowly.
Ghana played poorly in the first half failing to string passes together as the Congolese dominated and created several chances but Mbokani Bueza failed to utilize them.
Throughout the half Ghana only managed a short at goal courtesy Christian Atsu.
The Stars returned a better side in the second half with Jordan taking up his leading role with much purpose as a 50th minute free kick from Wakaso hit Matampi in post for the Congolese and returned into play but with no one to connect for the Stars.
The Stars lifted up their game with workaholic Wakaso picking up a ball from the midfield to set up Jordan who raced into the Congolese half and delivered a shot which zoomed past goalie for the opener in the 62nd minute.
The game became more physical with Wakaso and Amartey picking yellow cards, while Marcel Jany and Lomalisa Mutambala were also booked on the Congolese side.
For a brief lack of concentration a well-executed free kick located Paul M’poku at the end of the box and delivered a curler at the edge of the box which beat keeper Braimah in the 67th minute for the equalizer.
The Stars adopted a counter approach to the last 20 minutes of the game with one of their raids seeing Atsu racing deep into the Congolese defense as they had no option than to bring him down for referee Bernard Camille a penalty.
Andre Ayew converted for Ghana in the 74th minute which eventually became the match winner.
Lineup: Razak Braimah, Afful Harrison, Frank Acheampong, Dan Amartey, John Boye, Mubarak Wakaso, Afriyie Acquah, Christian Atsu, Thomas Partey, Jordan Ayew, Andre Ayew.