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Mubarak Wakaso

Two goals from substitute, Mubarak Wakaso secured Ghana a spot in the semi finals of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa.

After several minutes of pressure, Wakaso was played through after the goal keeper was caught out from a corner.

The Black Star player, who was suspended for the Stars? last game, kept his calm after receiving the pass, powered ahead of the chasing Cape Verde defense men, and scored his second goal of the game.

His first goal was from the penalty spot after Asamoah Gyan was tripped in the 54th minute.

Despite a lackluster performance, the Black Stars did what they had to do to secure qualification.

Goalkeeper Fatau Dauda was key in the victory as his top notch saves were enough to keep his Ghana side in the game.

Below is a timeline of the game

90:00 + 3 ? Mubarack Wackaso scores for Ghana in what is arguably the last play of the game.

89:50 ? Agyemang Badu?s shot is blocked by the Cape Verde defender. That was goal bound.

84:00 ? Mubarack Wakaso should have made it two for Ghana but a poorly struck shot sees the ball rising and rising from the goal.

81:00 ? Djanini lets fly a wonderful shot but Dauda once again comes to the rescue of the Black Stars. He kneels and celebrates a great save. Ghana look shaky.

77:00 ? Solomon Asante comes on for Atsu who obviously looks worn out.

74:00 ? Asamoah Gyan is robbed off the ball. He should have released that ball to Agyemang Badu.

73:55 ? Marco Soares sends in a good cross but no connection.

70:01 ? Fatau Dauda seems to be fine. He pulls on his gloves and the game is underway.

69:00 ? Fatau Dauda is on the turf complaining of an injury to his arm. The Cape Verdeans are not pleased. The medics see to him.

66:57 ? Harrison Afful goes into the books of the referee for tackle. Two-footed and dangerous it looks but solid and legal it proved.

57:40 ? Cape Verde is piling on the pressure. Platini strikes a beauty and Dauda agility is the only thing that keeps the Black Stars in the game.

57:00 ? Heldon almost puts Cape Verde level with a good strike. Off target.

54:00 ? Ghana 1:0 Cape Verde. Substitute Mubarack Wackaso strike a sweet left footer straight down the middle of the post of Vozinha.

53:00 ? Asamoah Gyan wins the Black Stars a penalty after being shoved off the ball in the 18 yard box.

52:00 ? Platini come on for Mendes.

2nd Half ? Referee blows the whistle and Ghana get the second half underway. The coaches have obviously had their say but it is up to the players to make it count. No shots on target in the first half is not a good, however.

45:00 + 2 ? Referee blows the whistle for the end of the first half.

41:15 ? Isaac Vorsah plays it dangerously in his half and almost costs his country. He eventually goes down injured after a shove from the Cape Verdean attacker.

37:00 ? With very lack of goal scoring chances from both teams, the game is settling into a routine Africa Cup of Nations match.

28:47 ? Tavares holds the ball nicely against John Boye and plays a great ball into the 18 yard box but Dauda is up to it and smothers it nicely.

26:50 ? Yellow Card! Rabiu Alhassan goes into the books of the referee after a challenge. Replay shows the decision was harsh.

25:00 ? Great corner from the Ghanaians and yet no one to connect

21:29 ? Heldon lets a shot fly after good cut-in play from the right. The Cape Verdeans are looking very positive now.

16:22 ? Kwadwo Asamoah lets a free kick fly ? fly out of play. Disappointing.

15:40 ? Babanko receives a yellow card after a late tackle on Adomah.

12:12 ? The Ghanaians are closing down on every inch of the pitch but slack marking almost gifts Heldon Mendes a goal. He however skies it.

09:00 ? Asamoah Gyan is unable to connect with a cross from Atsu. He claps his hands in appreciation. The Black Stars pile on the pressure.

06:20 ? Babanco blasts a chance into the stands.

04:13 ? The Cape Verde defence seems to be dealing very well with the pressure so far.

01:28 ? Initial exchanges sees Ghana putting the pressure on the Cape Verdean team. The debutants however remain resolute. Lovely start to the game.

00:00 ? The Black Stars say a word of prayer as the fans of both teams sing and dance in the stands. Fatau Dauda bows and raises his hands in the air as the referee blows for the start of the game.

Christian Atsu, who scored his tournament debut goal in the final group game for the Black Stars, gets to make his third start at the competition.

The game will kick off at 15:00 GMT at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

A win for the Black Stars will see them advance to the semi-finals where they will meet the winner of Sunday?s quarter-final match between Burkina Faso-Togo.

Starting Lineup:

Goal Keeper:
Fatau Dauda,

Defenders:
John Paintsil, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Isaac Vorsah

Midfielders:
Rabiu Mohammed, Albert Adomah, Agyemang Badu, Christian Atsu, Kwadwo Asamoah

Striker:
Asamoah Gyan

Several Ghanaian football fans have expressed optimism ahead of the game noting that the team?s impressive performances in the group stages was indicative of their will to succeed.

Several fans who spoke to Citi News however warned the team to guard against complacency in the game.

Meanwhile, the coach of the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde, Lucio Antunes has indicated that his team is poised to upset the Black Stars for a place in the semi-finals and will eventually lift the AFCON trophy.

citifmonline.com

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