Angola, Ivory Coast booted out of Afcon

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pretoria - Ghana became the first side to advance to the semi-finals of the Africa Nations Cup when they defeated hosts Angola last night.

Ghana beat Angola 1-0 at the Estadio do Novembre 11 in Luanda.

The Black Stars' only goal came through Asamoah Gyan in the 16th minute. The hosts were in control for the entire match, but their finishing was disappointing.

The tight Ghanaian defence comprising, Samuel Inkoom, Lee Addy and Haminu Draman who was substituted by Eric Addo, frustrated Angolan top strikers Goncalves Manucho and Amando Flavio.

The host team lost easy scoring opportunities when Manucho failed to convert a beautiful cross from Flavio by heading straight into the hands of Richard Kingston.

Flavio wasted another opportunity five minutes later when Kingston was penalised for holding onto the ball longer than the mandatory six seconds.

Even in the second half, Angola continued to put more pressure on the Ghanaians who eventually proved to be too strong to defeat.

Angola could have equalised in the 72nd minute when unmarked Manucho nodded over a free header in the box.

The hosts wasted the added five minutes of injury time, when the Black Stars defenders were no longer connecting well at the back.

In another thriller match, the pre-tournament favourites and 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier, Ivory Coast, were booted out of the competition, by another favourite team, Algeria.

Ivory Coast was the first side to find the back of the net through a well taken shot by Salomon Kalou scored in the fourth minute.

The Elephants led by the deadly striker Didier Drogba enjoyed ball possession mostly in the first half, while the Algerians who were still looking nervous used the few chances they got profitably.

Five minutes into the first-half, Karim Matmour scored an equalising goal. Kader Keita put his team in the lead in the 89th minute, but in a dramatic turn, Algerian Madjid Bougherra's header took the match into extra-time.

Bouzaza scored the winning goal of his team in the 93rd minute of extra-time.