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Ghana one step closer to last eight

Latest update : 2008-01-26

Ghana took the lead in Group A with one game to go after claiming a 1-0 victory against Namibia on Thursday.

ACCRA, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Hosts Ghana moved to within one
point of an African Nations Cup quarter-final place after an
unconvincing 1-0 win over Namibia in their Group A match on
Thursday.


Striker Junior Agogo back-heeled the ball in from close
range four minutes before halftime to ensure a second successive
victory at the tournament for the Black Stars.


But Ghana disappointed a 45,000-strong crowd, who had
expected an avalanche of goals after Namibia conceded five in
their opener against Morocco on Monday.


Chances rained down on the Namibia goal but Ghana's strikers
failed to find the target, with Asamoah Gyan the biggest
culprit.


"It was more important to take the three points than to
score a lot of goals," said Ghana midfielder Michael Essien.


A second substitution in the second half offered some
promise, with the entrance of teenager Dede Ayew and striker
Baffour Gyan, but it was Namibia who created several chances on
the counter-attack.


Their German-based midfielder Collin Benjamin came closest
in their last 10 minutes while Brian Brendell twice shot wide
from promising positions.


"Before the game if you had told me we'd only lose 1-0 we'd
have been happy but after coming so close, we know now we could
have done better," said Benjamin.


Namibia coach Ari Schans, who had described his defenders as
"school kids" after their 5-1 loss, was full of praise this
time. "I cannot commend them highly enough," he said.


Ghana need only draw their last match against Morocco to
ensure top place in the group standings.

 

Date created : 2008-01-23

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