Gyan Revives Ghana’s Quarter-Final Hopes
GHANA’S hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations were Friday boosted by Captain Asamoah Gyan, who scored a dramatic late winner against Algeria.
Ghana lost their first game against Senegal 1-2 and needed a win Friday to remain in contention for the second round.
Yesterday’s victory was a hard fought one, as Algeria came into the game aiming for their second win after beating South Africa 3-1 in the first game.
Within the first few minutes, Algeria unleashed the first effort on goal through Faouzi Ghoulam, who took a shot from 35 yards out from a free kick, but his attempt drove narrowly wide of the post.
It became a scrappy affair, with neither side causing much threat, but Tottenham Hotspur’s Nabil Bentaleb had a chance after disposessing the ball from Jonathan Mensah, but his sliced effort bobbled wide.
As the half went on, tempers flared between both sets of players after Christian Atsu pushed Ishak Belfodil, but the referee, who halted the flow of the game numerous times by blowing his whistle, decided against putting any of the players in the book.
Minutes later, Madjid Bouguerra saved Algeria from going a goal behind by heading the ball away from danger before Gyan and Jordan Ayew could get a touch on it.
After the break, the tempo slowly began to creep up, with Ghana causing the most trouble when Gyan connected with the ball from a swinging cross to direct towards goal, but it trickled past the post.
Ghana continued to put pressure on their opponents when brothers Jordan and Andre Ayew linked up before the former delivered a flick aiming for the top corner of the net, but it just glided over the crossbar.
Algeria managed to launch a decent counter-attack, which eventually ended with the ball at Bentaleb’s feet, but the Spurs man drilled his left-footed effort just wide of the goal.
Seconds later, at the other end, Gyan was involved again by snatching a through ball, but he rushed his shot and the scuffed attempt flew far wide of the target.
Two minutes into injury time, Gyan, who was a doubt for the match due to malaria concerns, found the back of the net with a low shot after getting away from Carl Medjani to find space and keep his nation’s hopes of qualifying alive.