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Africa Cup of Nations
January 24, 2013
• Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: N. Doue
• Attendance: 8000
W. Mubarak 38'
That's me done folks, but all you Afcon fans should make sure to catch Niger v DR Congo later today!
The Black Stars have got their first win of the Africa Cup of Nations! A spot kick strike from Wakaso sealed the scoreline in what was a painfully scrappy match. Ghana won't care though, while Mali will want to pick themselves ahead of their final group game of the Afcon.
90' + 2'
Mali attack once more, throwing men forwards finally. Better late than never? If they don't score then no!
Five minutes of added time!
Diabate wants a corner for Mali, but it's not to happen for the losing team. Goal kick to Ghana is given.
Ghana's goalkeeper Dauda is like a headless chicken! He really should have been sent off at the start, and now - with a couple of minutes to go - he sprints out his goalmouth on a Mali corner and completely fumbles an attempt at catching the cross! Luckily for him it dribbles away out wide, harmlessly.
Solomon Asante comes on and very nearly seals the game for Ghana! He lashes a shot a couple of feet wide of the right post with almost his first touch.
Group B will see Ghana on top with four points, Mali second on three points, DR Congo in third with the one point from one match and Niger rock bottom without a point having played the one match.
(Yep, nothing outstanding is happening right now, but don't worry, I'll let you know when they stop hacking each other down and decide to play football)
Let's liven this up with a look at the Group B table should the score stay this way!
So close! Struck casually on goal by Badu, the Mali keeper has to leap down to his right to tip the effort wide.
Ghana have a free kick 35 yards from goal! Where will this one go? The back of the net or row Z?
Mahamane El Hadji Traoré
Traore, freshly booked, gets hauled off another empty few minutes at Port Elizabeth.
Yellow Card Mahamane El Hadji Traoré
Another foul, another yellow card, and this time is a bad tackle that earns Traore a yellow card!
You would think Mali would be pressing more for goals, but they really aren't. Come on chaps, charge forwards!
Yellow Card John Paintsil
Just after Mali defender Adama Coulibaly is yellow carded for dissent, Ghana's Paintsil gets a booking for time wasting!
Mohamed Lamine Sissoko
Yellow Card Adama Coulibaly
I don't remember Ghana being this lifeless at the 2010 World Cup. I'm not the only one who feels this way, I hope?
Wakaso wants a handball in his favour, but instead the decision goes in the favour of the Mali opposition.
Yellow Card Mohammed Rabiu
Mohammed Rabiu is yellow carded for a dreadfully useless tackle on Maiga. This game has so many fouls - pointless fouls - that it's actually draining to watch.
Paintsil, Badu and Gyan have been particularly prominent in these last 15 minutes.
Ghana have continued their first-half dominance into this half nicely. They haven't been impressive, per se, but they've still been unquestionably dominant.
Gyan tries curling to the bottom right-hand corner from 25 yards, but it drags just wide.
Adomah tries slashing the ball across the face of goal but Gyan does not commit and the ball evades the Mali goal for now.
Super stat: there have been 27 fouls in this match. That's more than one foul every two minutes!
Both sets of players are showing a tendency to drop like flies during aerial challenges. It's not pretty to watch.
Yellow Card Mahamadou Bamba N'Diaye
Adomah tries to whip the ball in for a Black Stars team-mate but Mali keeper Mamadou Samassa punches it away.
Wakaso is berated by the referee for moving the ball forwards, and then when the ref turns his back he moves it forward even more! Cheeky. Ahh well, it doesn't matter as he misses the 25-yard set piece anyway.
Mahamane Traore with a beautiful ball over the Ghana defence, but it just evades Keita who is running on to the ball, and it's a goal kick to the current leaders.
West Ham United striker Modibo Maiga is brought on by Mali for the second half. Ghana get it under way!
Mali fans will be wondering what could have been if the Ghana goalkeeper had been sent off in the opening stages of the game. He really should have, you know. Ghana are pressing back against Mali now and an equaliser is very, very unlikely.
So, that's half-time and it's 1-0 to Ghana! Mali ought to be a man up after Dauda's dodgy handball early in the game, but Wakaso's penalty after a poor tackle from Tamboura ensures the favourites lead by just the single goal.
45' + 3'
Dauda's down again! He just loves being down on the floor, does this chap.
45' + 1'
Ghana keeper Dauda is down on the ground after falling awkwardly, and is receiving treatment.
Badu blazes about 50 feet over the bar from inside the box. And that's only a minor exaggeration...
Admittedly, Mali should be a man up, really. This game would be completely different if the Ghana keeper had been sent off as he deserved to have been.
Mali are going to have to up the ante in the latter 45 minutes as they haven't shown any threat in the last 35 minutes, really.
Isaac Vorsah has the best hair on the pitch, by a country mile. Short, wig-like, blonde dreadlocks. I'm very jealous.
Yellow Card Wakaso
In the aftermath of that goal celebration, Wakaso was yellow carded for lifting his shirt up and display an 'Allah is great' slogan. A stupid rule, but players should know that rule by now so I have no sympathy with the attacker.
Penalty Goal Wakaso
GOAL!! Ghana have taken the lead! No. 22 Wakaso buries his penalty nicely near the right post to put the Black Stars 1-0 up against Mali!
PENALTY! Ha, and here is one of those flashes of interest! Agyemang-Badu is fouled by Mali defender Adama Tamboura in the area and it's an easy decision for the referee.
This game has been characterised by flashes of action in otherwise drab match.
So close from Ghana!! Wakaso Mubarak slips as he takes his free kick, but it drops perfectly on to Agyemang-Badu's head who guides it on to the left post! The ball bobbles away and is cleared by Mali, but that was mighty close to the stalemate being broken!
Another period of play is broken up by a poor tackle. Scrappy stuff.
Mohamed Sissoko wins a free kick after leaping over a Ghana body.
Another period of passing without chances from both sides. Ghana are dominant still, but Mali have undoubtedly had the better chance in the form of Keita's free kick much earlier in the game.
Harrison Afful blazes a few feet wide from 25 yards. Good thinking though, and it's nice to see some attacking spice and spontaneity!
Albert Adomah does well down the left to win a throw-in near the byline for Ghana. The Black Stars are pressing heavily now.
Gyan is almost played through after a nice sequence of passes by his team-mates.
I do hate to sound so negative! The game has been bright in patches, so I'm still hopeful we'll get a game worth watching today!
I haven't seen an awful lot of the Afcon so far this year, but I really hope not all the matches have this few fans in the stadium.
...Eurgh that is blazed inexplicably wide. Appalling delivery. In metaphorical terms, if he was a postman delivering that way I would be picking my post out of the damp holly bush over the road.
John Paintsil wins a free kick 45 yards from goal for Ghana...
Asamoah Gyan! The Ghana striker has a shot from just inside the box which blocks wide for a corner to the Black Stars. Lively stuff from the 2010 World Cup star.
Credit has to go to Mali for pressing them so far back and forcing them to play it about behind their own halfway line.
Ghana look like a rabbit that has survived a close car scare hopping across a busy traffic in the dead of night. They're slowly passing it about at the back, well aware they should be a man down.
So close from Seydou Keita! He might be the only Mali player you're completely familiar with, and the former Barcelona star curls the 18-yard free kick literally millimetres around the left post. Agonisingly close for the Eagles.
Yellow Card F. Dauda
Should that have been a red card?! In my opinion, yes!! A mix-up in defence leads to Fatwu Dauda coming out of his goal and blatantly handballing on the edge of his box when dropping down to smother the loose ball.
Ghana, wearing white, have started slowly. So have Mali in all honesty, but maybe I'm just more keen to let them off as their kit is such a striking, impressive shade of yellow...
The stadium is surprisingly sparse this afternoon, absolute swathes of empty seats. Still, the residents are making a lot of noise regardless.
Mali wearing yellow kicking from left-to-right at the Port Elizabeth ground get us started!
I'm Miles Chambers and I'll be with you throughout this Africa Cup of Nations clash. Fingers crossed we're in for a goal-fest as opposed to the tepid 0-0s that plagued the start of the tournament!
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! coverage of Ghana v Mali!
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