Ghana 3-0 Niger (As it happened; Minute by minute updates)

                           GHANA 3-0 NIGER
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.
90’+4 FULL TIME: Niger 0-3 Ghana
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.
90′
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.
89′
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.
87′
Yellow Card Mohamed Soumaïla
87′
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.
85′
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.
83′
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.
81′
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.
79′
Substitution Issa Modibo Sidibé Alhassane Issoufou
79′
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.
78′
Substitution Asamoah Gyan out  Emmanuel Clottey in.
77′
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.
76′
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!
74′
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.
72′
Substitution Mohammed Rabiu Derek Boateng. Derek Boateng replaces Rabiu for Ghana
72′
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.
70′
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.
68′
Maazou tries to battle his way past two Ghanaian defenders, but isn’t successful in his exploits. Rabiu with the saving challenge.
66′
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!
64′
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.
63′
Substitution Albert Adomah S. Asante. SUBSTITUTION Now Ghana make their first change of the evening. Albert Adomah is replaced by Asante.
63′
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!
62′
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.
61′
Substitution Issiaka Koudize out Boubacar Issoufou in
60′
Substitution Mohamed Bachar out  Amadou Kader in
60′
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?
58′
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.
56′
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!
55′
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.
54′
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!
51′
Yellow Card Koffi Dan Kowa
51′
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.
49′
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!
49′
GOAL! Gyan AGAIN! Daouda manages to deal with a header as a result of the Ghana free-kick, but doesn’t pounce on the second ball, allowing for Gyan to stabs the ball home!
48′
Atsu is brought down wide on Ghana’s right flank, and the Black Stars pick up a free kick in a dangerous area.
47′
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!
46′
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!
The second half is just minutes away. Will we see an amazing Niger comeback in the second 45 minutes, or will Ghana score more goals and have party this evening? Stay tuned on this page to find out…
As it stands, Ghana will win Group B with seven points from three matches and Niger will be knocked out of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. It is also half time in the other game in Group B in which DR Congo are drawing 1-1 with Mali. If it ends that way in Durban, then Mali will finish as the runners-up in the group.
Niger have had a few decent chances, but their gameplan to loft in long balls to Maazou has simply not worked so far. They have shown no creativity or invention, and I doubt if they will be able to step up their game in the second period.
45+1min – HALF-TIME: Niger 0-2 Ghana
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.
45′
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.
44′

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.
43′
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!
40′
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.
38′
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.
36′
Adomah and Atsu have caused a lot of problems so far for Niger, their pace is really troubling for the team in white.

 

34′
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!
33′
Yellow Card Badu
33′
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.
30′
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.
28 min – Oh, Ghana are about to launch another good attacking move from the midfield but they fail to get the final killer ball to Gyan, who was lurking near the Niger penalty box. Gyan has been the pick of the players in this encounter so far.
26 minGhana have not really been dominating in this match so far, but they have taken their chances and that is what matters. Niger really need to pull something out of the hat if they are still intent of progressing to the quarter-finals.
24 minGhana are running away with this match now, as they take a 2-0 lead midway the first half. Gyan is again involved in the goal as he runs down the left and from inside the Niger penalty area floats in a cross. Christian Atsu chests it down to the back post and fires it in from just yards out.

 

23 minGOAL! Niger 0-2 Ghana (Atsu)

 

21 minCHANCE! Gyan takes the free kick and gets it past the wall, but curls the ball straight into the hands of Daouda.

 

20 minYELLOW CARD Oh, bad challenge from Issiaka Koudize on Gyan around 25 yards away from the Niger goal. It is a really bad challenge – he just clatters into Gyan’s back!

 

18 min – It has become scrappy now, to be honest. Niger are lacking in invention and structure, while Ghana seem quietly confident after their goal and are not really showing any kind of urgency.

16 minI am hearing of another goal in Durban. Mali have just equalised against DR Congo. It is now 1-1 in that match.

15 minWe have played 15 minutes in this game and it is Ghana who lead 1-0. Niger have had a goal disallowed that should probably have stood.

11 minNiger are not getting intimidated, I have to say. They are taking the game to their more illustrious opponents at the moment despite being 1-0 down.

10 minGOAL RULED OUT! Niger have the ball inside the Ghana goal but their striker has been ruled out! Koffi Dan Kowa turns the ball into the net but Moussa Maazou is adjudged to have committed a foul in the buildup.

9 minGhana should be now be confident than they were at the start of the match, now that they are 1-0 ahead. A draw will still be good for the Black Stars to progress to the quarter-finals.

7 minWonderful goal from Asamoah Gyan to put Ghana 1-0 up against Niger. Albert Adomah provides a good ball from the right that Gyan slots in from close range.

6 minGOAL! Niger 0-1 Ghana (Gyan)

4 minThere has been an early goal in the other game in this group. DR Congo are leading Mali 1-0, thanks to Robert Kidiaba’s penalty.

2 minIt has been a slow-ish start to the game in a stadium that has quite a number of empty seats. I would have thought that there would be more spectators for today’s game.

0 minAnd the game is underway…

 

Courtesy: Goal.com and sportsmole

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