Saturday 21 January 2017, 22:13

Black Stars into last eight, Pharaohs earn late win

THE DAY REPLAYED – Ghana secured their place in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after victory over Mali on Saturday. Egypt are also well poised for the last eight after a late win over Uganda. recaps the second set of Group D matches held in Port Gentil, Gabon.

The day’s results Group D Ghana 1-0 Mali Egypt 1-0 Uganda

The analysis Asamoah Gyan’s well-placed header from Jordan Ayew’s fine cross midway through the first half at Stade de Port-Gentil secured Ghana’s second straight victory at Gabon 2017 and their place in the last eight. The Black Stars were made to work for Saturday’s win, as Mali created numerous chances in the second half to get something from the contest. However, poor finishing and solid goalkeeping from Ghana’s Brimah Razak leaves the Eagles needing to beat Uganda in their final Group D match in Oyem on Wednesday to have any hopes of advancing to the knockout stages.

In the day’s second game, Egypt made their pressure count, as Abdallah Saied struck a crucial winner for the Pharaohs with just minutes remaining. A fine move saw the Al Ahly striker drive his close-range shot through the legs of Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango on 89 minutes. The North Africans will be delighted to take all three points from a match that lacked in quality. Though there was plenty of application and hard work from Uganda, defeat for the Cranes on Saturday ended their hopes of reaching the last eight at Gabon 2017, with one group match left to play.

Highlight of the day With time running out, Egypt’s attacking endeavour was finally rewarded against Uganda. From substitute Mahmoud Kahraba’s pass, Mohamed Salah showed his class by freezing the Ugandan defenders and setting up team-mate Saied to strike home with a low first-time finish.

The stat 35 – The number of years since Ghana last won the Africa Cup of Nations title. That success came in 1982 when they beat hosts Libya in the final on penalties. Will Gabon 2017 be Ghana’s year?

Next matchday Sunday 22 January (all times local)

Group A Gabon-Cameroon (20.00) Guinea-Bissau-Burkina Faso (20.00)

The winners of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 will represent the continent at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017.