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Africa Cup of Nations
January 28, 2013
• Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: B. Diatta
• Attendance: 10000
A. Gyan 6'
C. Atsu 23'
J. Boye 49'
Thanks for tuning in to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Ghana's 3-0 Group B Africa Cup of Nations win over Niger, I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you all later!
That's it then! Ghana go through to face Cape Verde. They will have to improve on today's performance however, as they failed to truly dominate much poorer opposition.
Goals from Gyan, Atsu and Boye were enough for Ghana, with Atsu the outstanding performer! Although Maazou played well for Niger, the rest of his team failed to live up to his quality.
That's it! Niger 0-3 Ghana, the minnows crash out with a solitary point, whereas the Black Stars progress to the knockout stages as Group B winners!
90' + 4'
Ooh! Final chance falls to Clottey, and if he had converted that it would have done wonders for his confidence!
90' + 2'
Ghana are holding onto the ball and Niger are more than happy to let them keep it. Just a case of the referee blowing the final whistle now.
Alhassane leaves the field of play on a stretcher, but it looks like more of a knock than a serious injury. There shouldn't be too much stoppage time here, and I don't think Niger want any.
Alhassane is down for Niger and looks in some pain, the stretcher is on too. Not quite sure what happened there, but he's been down for a while.
Yellow Card Mohamed Soumaïla
Asante looks to break for Ghana, after Niger fail to convert a corner, and is cynically brought down as he crossed the half way line. Bad challenge, and it definitely merited the yellow card for Soumaila.
Ghana are sitting deep, and Maazou is being frustrated. He hasn't got those acres of space to run into behind the opposition defence, and is suffering as a result.
As it stands, Ghana go through to the next stages at the top of Group B, and will face Cape Verde in the next round, whereas Niger will finish bottom of the group with the only point in their Africa Cup of Nations history.
Ghana are passing the ball comfortably around their back four now, the result is merely a formality. Clottey has done okay since coming on, looking lively on the ball.
Issa Modibo Sidibé
Atsu absolutely roasts Kader for pace, and collects a free kick for his efforts. The Porto winger has been unplayable in this match, he's just too fast for Niger to deal with him effectively.
The impressive Gyan leaves the field with less goals than he probably should have, to be replaced by Clottey - who makes his first appearance for his nation at Africa Cup of Nations.
Chance for Niger! Dauda has to be alert to palm a strong drive away from his top left corner! That was extremely close.. a good save from the Black Stars shot-stopper in the end!
Great splitting pass by Atsu sets Afful free down the left, but the left back floats his cross over everyone in the box, and it goes out for a corner. That was a disappointing end to what looked like a promising passage of play.
Derek Boateng replaces Rabiu, who had gone down with cramp in both legs moments earlier. Fresh legs are definitely what Ghana need, all they need to do know is close the game out.
Ooh! Gyan has another effort at goal! Asante manages to slip the ball through to the number three, who sets himself and attempts an audacious curling shot from 25 yards. Daouda deals with it simply, catching the ball.
Maazou tries to battle his way past two Ghanaian defenders, but isn't successful in his exploits. Rabiu with the saving challenge.
Dauda deals with a Niger freekick easily, the ball was easily within reach for the keeper, and he smothers it. Plenty of chances in the last ten minutes, this game certainly hasn't gone quiet!
Another half chance falls to Gyan! He really should have taken one of them.. a fourth goal would be the nail in the coffin. Kader intervenes well to deny him this time, after good work from Ghanaian substitute Asante.
GYAN! Close AGAIN! The forward receives the ball at the back post, and hammers at effort at goal, but it flies wide! His goalkeeper covers his face in his jersey! I'm not sure it was bad enough to merit that reaction from his teammate!
Ooh! Chance for Ghana! Great dribbling work from Atsu, before the Porto man slips the ball inside to Gyan. The goalscorer takes a touch out of his feet, before firing a weak effort straight at the keeper.
Niger make the first substitution of the match, but I don't think that anything they do will matter now. Ghana can't be caught, surely?
Close for Niger again, as Maazou is found at the back post, but he can't quite direct it goalwards. He's definitely the threat for the minnows, but he's not quite getting the rub of the green so far.
CHANCE! Another great cross from Maazou. He's been the only good player for Niger. The forward goes on another pacey raid down the right, and plays a pinpoint cross, right across the corridor of uncertainty! That was begging for someone to tap it in!
Ooh! Chance for Maazou! The lanky forward is given a decent ball in, he meets it with his head, but can't direct it towards the top corner. Half chance for Niger.
Oooh! Oh dear! Dan Kowa almost gave Gyan a goal on a plate! The ball trickles towards the Niger defender, but instead of simply clearing it, he misses the ball altogether! That was terrible!
Yellow Card Koffi Dan Kowa
Niger are really sinking without trace! Gyan almost manages to turn another header into a dangerous area, but Daouda manages to palm the ball out for a corner. The keeper claims the ball from the resulting set piece.
Goal John Boye
GOAL! Gyan AGAIN! Daouda manages to deal with a Gyan header as a result of the Ghana free-kick, but doesn't pounce on the second ball, allowing for Boye to stabs the ball home!
Atsu is brought down wide on Ghana's right flank, and the Black Stars pick up a free kick in a dangerous area.
Atsu breaks powerfully, and opts to shoot instead of squaring the ball to Gyan. That was a terrible shot, he really dragged it wide - so bad that it almost turned into a cross!
And the game is back underway! Lets see if Niger can mount a comeback in the second half! Both teams went into huddles before the whistle, let's see if they inspired them!
Niger will be frustrated, not only due to their goal being ruled out wrongly, but also as the two goals they gave away were sloppy defensively. If they get Maazou the ball however, there may be some fight in the minnows yet!
Ghana will certainly need to improve for the second half, which is presumably what they're talking about in their huddle on the pitch. A third goal would surely seal it.
That's it, halftime! Niger surround the referee after the whistle, and are clearly sharing their thoughts on his decision to rule out their seemingly legitimate goal.
Rabiu gets tangled up with his own player while Ghana break yet again, which breaks down all of their momentum. That's the only time that Ghana have truly threatened. Niger can't deal with the pace of Adomah and Atsu on the break.
Ghana have been less than convincing defensively. There's definitely a chance for Niger to grab a goal if they can get the ball to Maazou. His pace is really worrying Vorsah.
Oooh! Vorsah releases Asamoah, who switches play over to Badu. Badu unleashes a strike at goal, but Daouda is more than equal to it and pushes it away for a corner!
Ghana are beginning to dominate a little more now, but Maazou still remains a great outlet for Niger. Both sides will receive a lecture at half time from their managers, Niger have conceded poor goals and Ghana have been extremely careless with possession.
Asamoah whips in a free kick, but the ball flies out of play for a goal kick. Ghana have been really wasteful from set pieces so far.
Adomah and Atsu have caused a lot of problems so far for Niger, their pace is really troubling for the team in white.
Oooh, Maazou bursts down the right flank and puts a great ball across the Ghanaian six yard box, but Modibo can't quite stretch to turn it home! So close!
Yellow Card Badu
Ghana need to get their foot on the ball and start to dominate. Niger have to chase this game, yet Ghana are giving them every opportunity to win the ball back.
Well, this game has had the stuffing taken out of it a little. Niger need a goal, preferably soon, otherwise they could concede again from the potent, pacey break of Ghana.
Ghana break brilliantly, but Bachard manages to intercept as last man. Ghana really look explosive on the counter attack, Niger will have to be careful how many men they push forward while in search of a much required goal.
A seemingly rehearsed Ghanaian free-kick finds its way into the hands of Daouda yet again! He's claimed practically everything so far.
Yellow Card Mohamed Chikoto
Ghana haven't really started brilliantly, but they find themselves two goals ahead! Surely they can't be caught now? That Atsu goal may well have just booked their place in the next round.
Assist Asamoah Gyan
Goal Christian Twasam Atsu
GOAL! Atsu scores to double Ghana's lead! Gyan clips the ball to the back post to find the winger, he manages to control the ball, ride a challenge and poke the ball in the bottom corner!
Gyan tries an ambitious long range effort, but Daouda is able to pat the ball down and collect it easily.
Yellow Card Issiaka Koudize
Despite the early controversy, the game has settled down a little bit. Neither side is dominating, but Niger really are struggling to break down Ghana when going forward.
Fatoukouma tries an outrageous long range effort rather than crossing the ball to his awaiting teammates. That was a bizarre decision.
Atsu turns his marker brilliantly, and Niger look scared of the pace of the winger. This Ghana midfield definitely have the potential to dominate, however they've not really monopolised possession yet.
Niger only really seem to have one plan so far, and that's to launch the ball forward to Maazou!
Badu is found in the penalty area by Adomah, but a great Niger interception prevents the forward from getting a shot at goal. Ghana then work the ball down the left, but fail to put in a delivery.
A bright start to the game so far! Plenty of incidents, and Niger will feel aggrieved that they aren't level. Ghana haven't quite got going yet!
Ghana have a freekick in a great area, but Niger deal with the cross effectively, although Daouda was stuck in no man's land, totally dependent on his defenders!
A GOAL HAS BEEN RULED OUT! Maazou challenged Dauda for a ball in flight, that's a bad decision! The goalkeeper clashed with his own man seemingly! Maazou turns it into an unguarded net, but it won't count!
Maazou bombs forward for Niger, bursts into the Ghana penalty area, however he miscontrols the ball and it escapes him. Unfortunate.
That's a very important goal for Ghana, now they can afford to concede once, but still progress to the next round. This leaves Niger with a lot to do to go through!
Assist Albert Adomah
Goal Asamoah Gyan
GOALLL! Asamoah Gyan fires home to put Ghana ahead! Great finish, as he powers it into the bottom corner, before partaking in a group celebration!
A slow start at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, nothing in comparison to the other Group B match! Asamoah, meanwhile, beats his man with a nice Cruyff turn to win a free kick in a decent area.
An open start, with both Niger and Ghana having half chances. A long throw is cleared well by Vorsah too.
And we're underway!
Niger can still qualify for the next stage of the tournament, but are heavily dependent on other results, whereas Ghana can qualify with merely a point this evening - and will top the group with another win.
Ghana starting line-up: Dauda, Pantsil, Vorsah, Afful, Boye, Asamoah, Adomah, Rabiu, Agyemang-Badu, Gyan, Atsu.
Niger starting line-up: Daouda, Dan Kowa, Soumaila, Koudize, Mohamed, Bachard, Katoukouma, Lancina, Talatou, Maazou, Sidibe.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you informed with all of the action from South Africa, as Ghana face Niger in search of a win which will take them through as Group B winners!
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of one of this evening's Africa Cup of Nations matches, Niger vs Ghana!
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