Ghana edge out Senegal
By Neil McDonald
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ghana have put themselves back in with a shout of reaching the quarter finals.
Ghana have put themselves back in with a shout of reaching the quarter finals of the African Cup of Nations with a hard fought 1-0 win over Senegal.
A 13th minute goal from Borussia Dortmund striker Matthew Amoah was enough to give the World Cup finalists the victory and put them on level points with Senegal in Group D.
The game started frantically with a few meaty challenges being dished out, but there was a distinct lack of goalmouth action.
The first chance of the game came after 10 minutes, but Ghana striker Amoah could only fire his shot straight at the Senegal keeper Tony Sylva.
Amoah did not take long to make amends though, when three minutes later he beat the Senegal offside trap and fired home from a tight angle and bring the Ghanaian bench to their feet.
Ghana almost added a second on 20 minutes when the impressive John Mensah sneaked round the back of the Senegal defence to connect with a Laryea Kingston free kick, but his looping header agonisingly struck the top of the crossbar.
The fright of almost going 2-0 down seemed to stunt the Senegalese into action and they should have equalised when Bolton's El Hadji Diouf got on the end of a Henri Camara cross, but the controversial striker put his header wide with the Ghanaian keeper Sam Adjei bearing down on him.
The next chance fell to the Ghanaians when midfielder Joetex Frimpong completely missed a free header just six yards from goal, after Haminu Draman had put in a brilliant cross.
Ghana began to take control of the game and former Juventus star Stephan Appiah hit a stinging shot which was parried to the feet of Amoah but the striker was unable to score his second goal of the game as the Senegal defenders recovered.
Senegal were unable to reduce the deficit before the break and trudged off at half time deservedly behind.
The Senegalese brought on Fulham's Papa Bouba Diop at the start of the second-half in an attempt to take control of the game, but within 30 seconds the Ghanaians should have increased their advantage but Kingston could not finish a flowing move, with keeper Sylva saving with his legs.
Senegal then began to take control of the game without creating any clear-cut goalscoring opportunities. El Hadji Diouf fired a free kick over from 18 yards and Rahmane Barry volleyed wide from the edge of the area.
Then on 63 minutes the game erupted after a clash between Kingston and Habib Beye saw both of them receiving red cards. The players seemed to raise their arms towards each other resulting in Kingston falling to the floor dramatically. The referee took a no-nonsense approach and both players had to leave the field.
It was the Senegalese who adapted better to going down to ten men, but despite their dominance they were unable to breach the Ghanaian defence and the 'Elephants' held out for a well-earned victory.
If Ghana secure a victory in their final group game against minnows Zimbabwe they will be virtually guaranteed a place in the quarter finals.