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Africa united with 'proud' Ghana win

Ghana's victory over Serbia carried more significance than three points -- it was the first World Cup win for an African team on African soil.

In the process, Ghana gave a big boost to their quest to progress past the first round after winning yesterday's Group D opener.

The Black Stars created better chances in a match in which the Serbs had an edge in possession.

Striker Asamoah Gyan fired home from the penalty spot five minutes from time after Serb substitute Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled, sparking celebrations across the continent.

"This is an important World Cup for Africa and it's important that the Africans support each other," said attacking midfielder Dede Ayew. "That's what happened today. The support was marvellous. We want to thank everyone who came to support us and I hope we will continue to make them proud."

Regular captain Stephen Appiah, who came on as a substitute late in the game, also paid tribute to the locals, who are cheering all African teams.

"That's what you're seeing," he said. "This is the first time the World Cup is held in Africa, and all Africa is united."

The Black Stars' will face tougher opponents Germany and Australia in their remaining pool matches, but getting off the mark against Serbia was a morale booster. It was an important match for us," said Ayew. "The aim was not to avoid losing. Winning was a big bonus for us."

Ghana play their next game against Australia on Saturday in Rustenburg.

Ghana's win was more creditable as it was achieved without midfield stars Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari.

Asked how he felt to take Muntari's place in the team, Ayew said: "Sulley is Sulley. I respect him as my senior. Sulley won the Champions League. Sulley won the (Italian) championship and Sulley is a fantastic player."