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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Angola 2010:Ghana silence Angola 1:0 to qualify for semis

Goal hero Gyan celebrate the victory with Rahim Ayew and others
Goal hero Gyan celebrate the victory with Rahim Ayew and others
The fairy tale run by the relatively inexperienced Black Stars continued with a crucial 1-0 victory over host Angola to book a semi final place in the ongoing Cup of Nations.

A superb Asamoah Gyan finish in the 16th minute proved priceless as the Stars defended with their lives and kept a marauding Angolan attack at bay.

The Stars twice cleared from goal line and have Manucho to thank for glorious heading opportunities which were wasted.

The partisan crowd at the 11 of November Stadium fired the Palancras Negras up and within a minute into the game, Dede Ayew got booked for a cluttering challenge on Mabinda.

The Angolans kept breathing down the neck of the Ghanaian defence, but the Stars looked organised and tried to catch the Angolans on a counter.

In one such rare attacks, Kwodwo Asamoah released Asamoah Gyan with a sublime pass from midfield and the Rennes Striker kept his nerve, beat Zuela and shot low to the right hand corner for the first and only goal.

In truth there ought to have been more, but the Angolans were woeful upfront, with Manucho being the greatest offender.

An unmarked Manucho headed powerfully a lovely cross from Flavio in the 32nd but Kingston made an instinctive finger tip save with the ball rolling harmlessly across the goal line and cleared finally to safety by Hans Adu Sarpei.

Nervy defending and mis-communication between the Stars rearguards and Kingston again gifted Manucho a glaring opportunity ten minutes later but the former Manchester United striker surprisingly shot wide.

Kingston had early on saved what would have been a laughable own goal when he leapt to save a half clearance by Lee Addy from entering into the net.

The Stars were not completely overawed though as they managed to hold on to possession, slowing down the pace of the game at most times.

Back with venom from recess the Palancras Negras poured out in attack but looked predictable and lacked imagination upfront.

Lee Addy and Isaac Vorsah were impregnable in defence and dealt well with the aerial supplies which kept Flavio completely pedestrian in the game.

The Angolans were incessant in attack but the Stars had the best opportunities to increase the tally. Haminu Dramani went round Zuela in the 72nd minute but with just Carlos to beat Dramani went for power instead of placement, and shot right into the path of the Angolan goalie.

The Stars attack was rendered somewhat impotent after injured Gyan was substituted by Mathew Amoah giving the Angolan defence the opportunity to join the attack.

Kwodwo Asamoah was silent for most part of the game but unleashed a terrific thunderbolt just at the edge of the 18 yard box in the 83rd forcing a superb save from Carlos.

The Angolans, clueless upfront, pushed forward in numbers for a last gasp equaliser, but the Stars were solid with Agyemang Badu covering every inch of grass.

Tried as they did, the Stars defended well and kept dozens of Angola fans distraught.

Ghana play winner of the Zambia/Nigeria clash in the semi-final

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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