Football News

Ghana make the semis

Ghana make the semis

Ghana, the host nation, are through to the semi finals of the African Cup of Nations thanks to the late goal from Junior Agogo. Yakubu had given Nigeria an early first half lead, and Michael Essien had levelled things at the end of the first half. The game was poised for extra time until Agogo stepped up to send the hosts through.

Agogo limped through the second half with injury but was on hand to tap in virtually on the goal line after Sulley Muntari had squeezed a square pass through the Nigeria defence with just eight minutes remaining.

The winner came just 20 minutes after the home team had been reduced to 10 men with the sending off of their captain John Mensah.

The central defender had been red carded after a professional foul on Peter Odemwingie on the edge of Ghana’s penalty area.

“I’m sure he deserved it, it was speedy red card,” claimed Ghana coach Claude Le Roy afterwards A lethargic-looking Nigeria failed to make use of the advantage and created just one chance in the second half.

But they did take the lead 10 minutes from half-time when Eric Addo brought down Yakubu Aiyegbeni with a rugby-style tackle in the penalty area. Yakubu stepped up to convert the resultant kick, only the third goal of the game.

But Ghana leveled on the stroke of half-time when Michael Essien powered home a header from Quincy Owusu Abeyie’s free kick, his effort coming off the post to trickle over the line.

“It’s a fantastic team effort, they are really 11 heroes,” said LeRoy of his team.

“We took a risk not to change our formation and bring on a defender after Mensah had been sent off but we wanted to keep attacking. We wanted to win it,” said Le Roy.