SAT 16 SEPTEMBER 2017, 18:00 , CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM

1 Ghana
VS
0 Mali

Ghana chase second win in Group A

Ghana chase second win in Group A
Addo Felix of Ghana challenged by Camara Ibrahima Kassor of Guinea during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Ghana and Guinea at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 14 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Friday Sep 15, 2017. 12:00

Ghana will chase a second successive win in Group A at the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations when they face Mali at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Saturday evening, kick-off at 18h00 local time.

The tournament hosts got their second round off to a perfect start when they defeated Guinea 2-0 on Thursday. Second-half goals from Stephen Sarfo and Razak Patrick took the Black Stars to three points and top spot on the standings.

“The tension, the pressure, the atmosphere was quite different in the first game than this one,” Black Stars coach Maxwell Konadu said at the post-match conference.

“This time around the boys were relaxed and we were able to calm them down enough before the kick off and I think that also contributed to the performance this afternoon.”

Mali, meanwhile, got their Group A campaign off to a solid if unspectacular start by holding Nigeria to a goalless draw in Thursday’s early game. The ‘Battle of the Eagles’ was a closely-fought affair and coach Nouhoum Diane will feel his side is ready for the challenge offered by Ghana.

Ghana and Mali have met in 17 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Black Stars have claimed eight wins - compared to just three for the Eacgles - and outscored their opponents 28 goals to 14 in the process.

Ghana v Mali, head-to-head

GHANA v MALI

Winnful Cobbinah goal sends Ghana into semifinals

Winnful Cobbinah goal sends Ghana into semifinals
Cobbina Winnful Essua of Ghana celebrate goal with Kizito Kwame of Ghana and Lomotey Emmanuel Addoquye of Ghana during the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations Tournament. Between Guinea v Nigeria in Cape Coast, Ghana on 16 September 2017 ©Christian Thompson/ BackpagePix

by Brian Lee

Saturday Sep 16, 2017. 22:05

A solitary goal from Winnful Cobbinah handed Ghana a 1-0 win over Mali in a Group A match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Saturday, September 16 to book the Black Stars a spot in the semifinals of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations.

The first shot on goal came in the fifth minute when Mali’s Oumar Kida let fly from long range, but his stinging effort was well-saved by the Black Stars keeper.

Ghana controlled the flow of the game after that and bossed matters from the middle of the park, but their decision making in the final third proved poor and consequently chances on goal were few.

In fact, the Black Stars only had one attempt on goal in the opening half despite having almost 70 percent of the possession – that shot coming in the 17th minute courtesy of a strike from Emmanuel Lomotey, but his effort was a tame one and easily saved.

Mali offered virtually nothing in attack and didn’t threaten the Ghana goal besides from the first attempt on goal.

Both teams entered the half time tunnel a little despondent with the game locked at 0-0.

Mali should really have taken the lead ten minutes into the second half when a cross from the right was spilled by the Ghanaian keeper into the path of Oumar Kida, but he fired wide from 18-yards out with an empty net gapping.

Ghana took charge of the game once again after that and finally made their pressure tell in the 74th minute after a spectacular 22-yard strike from Winnful Cobbinah found the back of the net, 1-0.

Mali tried to find their way back into the game, but were unable to break down a well-organised Black Stars defence as the match ended 1-0.

The result means Ghana are at the top of Group A with six points and have confirmed their spot in the semifinals of the competition.

Nigeria are second in Group A on two points following their goalless draw with Guinea earlier in the day.

Mali and Guinea are third and fourth on the standings with one point to their names and will have to win their last group game on Monday, September 18 to stay in the tournament.

Ghana (0) 1 (Cobbinah 74’)
Mali (0) 0

Ghana coach: Maxwell Konadu

Ghana: 1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S. Safro, 5. Atingah, 6. Abbey, 9. F Addo (13. Kizito 64’), 18. Lomotey (14. Adams 91’), 7. Twum, 10. Cobbina, 8. Waja, 15. K Safro (11. Kelvin 86’).

Mali coach: Nouhoum Diane

Mali: 16. Diarra, 13. I Samake, 4 Samassekou, 15. I Traore, 14. L Samake, 18. Aliou (10. Niangadou 53’), 6. Konte, 8. Coulibaly, 7. Malle (17. Traore 83’), 11. Kone, 9. Kida.

Starting Lineup

Ghana : Joseph Addo, Vincent Adaeh Antigah, Amos Frimpong, Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo, Thomas Abbey, Gideon Waja, Felix Addo, Isaac Twumasi, Cobbinah Winful Essuah, Samuel Sarfo, Addoquye Emmenuel Lomotey

Mali : Djigui Diarra, Issaka Samake, Moussa Coulibaly, Oumar Kida, Issouf Traore, Aliou Dieng, Lassana Samake, Amara Malle, Mandala Konte, Boubacar Samassekou, Moussa Kone

Live Commentary

1' The match is underway!
34' Issouf Traore (Mali) is cautioned.
45 + 1' The referee brings the first half to an end.
46' The second half is underway
53' Mali: Goune Niangadou replaces Aliou Dieng
64' Ghana: Kwame Kizito replaces Felix Addo
74' Cobbinah Winful Essuah (Ghana) scores!
79' Isaac Twumasi (Ghana) is cautioned.
83' Mali: Mohamed Traore replaces Amara Malle
86' Ghana: Kelvin Andoh replaces Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo
90 + 1' Ghana: Ahmed Adams replaces Addoquye Emmenuel Lomotey
90 + 3' The referee blows the whistle for Full Time.

Match Statistics

MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM
GHANA GOALS MALI GOALS
10. Cobbinah Winful Essuah (74')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1
GHANA STARTING LINEUP MALI STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
0
Defender
0
Defender
0
Defender
8
Defender
0
Defender
86'
15
Midfielder
53'
0
Defender
6
Midfielder
83'
0
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
74'
10
Midfielder
34'
0
Midfielder
64'
9
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
79'
7
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
12
Midfielder
0
Forward/Striker
90 + 1'
18
Midfielder
0
SUBSTITUTIONS
Kwame Kizito
Midfielder
64'
13
Goune Niangadou
Midfielder
53'
0
Kelvin Andoh
Forward/Striker
86'
11
Mohamed Traore
Forward/Striker
83'
0
Ahmed Adams
Defender
90 + 1'
14
CARDS
Isaac Twumasi
Midfielder
79'
7
Issouf Traore
Midfielder
34'
0
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury