Friday 19 January 2018

Ayew strike sends Ghana stuttering into last eight

Ghana progressed to the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations as a first-half goal by Andre Ayew earned them an unconvincing 1-0 win over Burkina Faso.

Ayew took advantage of some woeful marking by Burkina Faso to head home after half an hour as Ghana went through in second place from Group B, behind Ivory Coast.

Burkina Faso's hopes of staging a comeback suffered a major setback with the 66th-minute dismissal of defender Mamadou Tall.

However, it was a stuttering display by the Black Stars, whose injury problems entering the match had worsened after Chelsea's Michael Essien was ruled out of the tournament.

Burkina Faso needed only to draw after holding Ivory Coast in the first match but Ghana had to win following their defeat to the Elephants.

Ghana took the lead when a free-kick cleared to the right was sent back into the box finding Ayew unmarked, and the midfielder diverted his header downwards into the right-hand corner of the net.

The Burkinabe were reduced to 10 men after Tall was sent off following a challenge which left Asamoah Gyan clutching his face, although the decision appear a harsh one.

Irish Independent

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