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Ghana hold off Mali to reach AFCON 2017 quarter finals

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Ghana became the second team to reach the quarter finals at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations after seeing off Mali.

The Black Stars went into this game only a win away from the last eight after beating Uganda in their previous match.

They were determined to realise this. Ghana started the match on the front foot. Christian Atsu set up Andre Ayew but the West Ham midfielder missed his glorious opportunity.

More came later and the Ghanaians would end up breaking the deadlock. In the 21st minute, Jordan Ayew’s cross was headed in by Asamoah Gyan. Soon after, Jordan had a chance to double the lead but could not convert his chance.

Mali were dominated all through to half time and barely managed to create a scoring opportunity.

But, like Uganda, the Malians pinned the Black Stars back early in the second half. Moussa Marega had two opportunities to draw level but could not beat Razak Brimah.

They came close again through, defender, Coulibaly’s half-volley but just couldn’t draw level.

In the final rally, Mali had their best chance to score but we’re again thwarted by, Ghana goalkeeper, Razak Brimah. Kalifa Coulibaly met a cross and his weak shot needed Brimah to be at full stretch.

The goalkeeper punched onto the path of Coulibaly but Afful was there to head it back to him.

The win leaves Ghana at the top of group D, on six points, and into a sixth successive quarter finals. Mali have only the one point earned against Egypt.

Egypt plays Uganda in the group’s other fixture of the day. Follow KingFut’s coverage on Twitter.

I have dedicated part of my time in this bad world to following African football. From CECAFA to WAFU, COSAFA to UNAF & even the forgotten UNIFFAC.

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