Ghana into last eight, Egypt close

(From left) Ghana's forward Asamoah Gyan, defender Harrison Afful and defender Daniel Amartey celebrating their win over Mali after their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match on Jan 21, 2017.
(From left) Ghana's forward Asamoah Gyan, defender Harrison Afful and defender Daniel Amartey celebrating their win over Mali after their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match on Jan 21, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

PORT GENTIL (Gabon) • Ghana became the second side to book a quarter-final place at the Africa Cup of Nations when they edged out Mali 1-0 in Group D at the Stade de Port Gentil on Saturday.

Veteran striker Asamoah Gyan grabbed the only goal of the game to become his country's leading all-time scorer in the continental championship with eight goals across six tournaments.

Egypt scored two minutes from time to beat Uganda 1-0, a result that ensured Uganda would be the first team eliminated from the tournament.

Ghana lead the pool with six points from two games, followed by Egypt with four, Mali one and Uganda zero.

Ghana rode their luck against Mali but joined Group B's Senegal in the next round and now face a battle for top spot in the group against Egypt on Wednesday.

The Black Stars were ahead on 22 minutes after Jordan Ayew whipped in a cross for Gyan to head home.

"We are pleased with our performance," Gyan said. "Whether we play an excellent match or not, we just want to win and advance in the tournament."

Egypt were rewarded for their persistence when substitute Abdallah El Said drilled the ball past Uganda 'keeper Denis Onyango.

Egypt's Argentine coach Hector Cuper was relieved his side won despite testing conditions. "It was difficult on that pitch and in this climate but we won and that is the important thing," he said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2017, with the headline 'Ghana into last eight, Egypt close'. Print Edition | Subscribe