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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 January 2008, 19:52 GMT



Ghana 2-1 Guinea

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on +447786 202008. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Chris Whyatt

1919: So all that's left for me to do is to invite you back for more rollercoaster e-commentary tomorrow. Same place, slightly earlier time (1430 GMT). I can't wait.

Oh, and thanks for today - all of your comments are much appreciated and some of them have been as enjoyable as a last-minute Sulley Muntari rocket.

1912: Longest day of the entire tournament tomorrow as we lovingly mop up Group A with Namibia v Morocco (1500) and crack on with Group B. Some cracking prospects there with Mali taking on Benin (1930) and a real heavyweight clash with Nigeria locking horns with Ivory Coast (1700).

1909: "This is as good as the Euro's there are no world superpowers and they play football out of love, nothing else. Great Tournament, LONG LIVE THE AFRICAN NATIONS. The supporters make it an amazing experience."
Dantheman1888 via 606

1903: "Rumour has it that Sulley Muntari has been arrested for possession of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. They are reported to be located within his left boot."
ThePaw89 via 606

1858: What drama. The three points are priceless for Ghana. I'm strangely deflated - but that's purely because I didn't want the game to end! The Africa Cup of Nations 2008 has already captivated us here at BBC HQ and, judging by the flood of comments on 606 and the texts, you're hooked too.

1855: FULL-TIME Ghana 2-1 Guinea

"That goal was worthy of winning any match anywhere."
BBC Sport commentator Simon Brotherton in Accra

1853: So the script goes according to plan for the delirious hosts. I think. The clock is ticking down to the final whistle...

1850: GOAL Ghana 2-1 Guinea
A nation erupts as Ghana's Sulley Muntari unleashes a thunderbolt shot with his left-foot from 30 yards out. Sensational goal and came out of nowhere.

1848: Ghana's Laryea Kingston, who plays his club football for Hearts, jinks into the box but takes too many touches and is tackled by Guinea's defensive warriors. Tired mind, tired legs.

1844: "Having been to Ghana on a school trip last year I can safely say Ghanaians DO have strong hearts! Come on you Black Stars!!!"
lutonsteve_2 via 606

1841: Glistening sweat dominates the features of every player and I'm not surprised. Allied to the endless endeavour, it's 33 degrees in Accra tonight. Things are getting scrappy.

1839: Almost a dream start for 'Dede' as he nearly scores with his first touch. He meets a low cross from the right and Guinea stopper Kemoko Camara saves well from six yards.

1836: Andre 'Dede' Ayew - son of African legend Abedi Pele - replaces a jaded Quincy Owusu Abeyie for Ghana.

1831: Guinea, who have never won this tournament nor played at a World Cup, are crafting space in midfield. And fair play to them. Can they puncture Ghana's aspirations at this early stage?

1829: Ghana looked stunned. Sulley Muntari duly spurns the opportunity to find Asamoah Gyan as his free-kick fails to go beyond the first man. Strong hearts are needed now from the hosts.

1825: GOAL Ghana 1-1 Guinea
Never make predictions in sport. A powerful header from Oumar Kalabane puts Guinea level. Who swung in the corner? Pascal Feindouno. The ball just went in off the bar despite Richard Kingson's efforts to block. Now we really have a game.

1822: Eventual winners Egypt won their opening match on home soil in the last Africa Cup of Nations, as did Tunisia in 2004.

Ghana look confident of doing the same with Guinea wasteful in possession. Pascal Feindouno, who I billed as their star man, has hardly seen the ball.

1819: "That is a debateable penalty in my opinion. Should liven the game up (if that's possible)."
supertottenham1989

1816: GOAL Ghana 1-0 Guinea
Pressure in its purest form. Asamoah Gyan sends the hosts delirious by calmly striking the ball high past Kemoko Camara for the first goal of the tournament.

1815: PENALTY TO GHANA
Richard Kingston punts downfield, Asamoah Gyan knocks it on for Junior Agogo, and the Nottingham Forest man is tripped in the box by Oumar Kalabane.

1813: It's no surprise either, as "fluffy" becomes the latest description for the lengthy grass which is clearly impeding the players.

1810: The Black Stars, as Ghana are known, float a free-kick into the box and Asamoah Gyan leaps high to head powerfully. No - the ball didn't hit the post - but it flies just over and using the Udinese man's height is clearly a tactic being deployed by Ghana coach Claude Le Roy.

1807: Second-half underway.

1801: And exhale. Superb. I really enjoyed that first-half. We don't even have a goal yet.

"This game is Jinxed. Ghana's hit the post three times."
Gunnerbigsam on 606

1755: Speaking of which, my Accra-based colleagues from the BBC's World Service have just alerted their listeners to our coverage - so it's my pleasure to do the same.

1751: HALF-TIME Ghana 0-0 Guinea
Last kick of a steamy first-half with Guinea wasting a set-play. Apologies for my gushing tones, but the Africa Cup of Nations ticks every box in terms of what you want from a sporting event. Oh, to be there.

1748: "Look at the attacking play, look at the speed. None of that calculated Euro defensive efficiency. Africa is where it's at."
Othman in Philadelphia, USA, via text

1746: Ghana hit those magnetic posts again as Sulley Muntari drives the ball against the base of the upright from a tight angle. Guinea are lacking any real authority across their back-line.

1742: Bordering on bedlam in the stands but the sting has evaporated from the action on the pitch in the past 10 minutes or so. Don't worry, there'll be some drama here.

Do you think Ghana are missing Stephen Appiah? Their talismanic captain is absent through injury. He certainly impressed me at the 2006 World Cup.

1740: "It might be the height of fashion but yellow BOOTS?????????"
redandblackT(1899 was a vintage year) on 606

Hmmmmm. Does anyone wear BLACK boots any more?

1737: "The ball is running very slow. You can expect a few mistakes from the players. The grass is so long, it's not going to encourage good football."
BBC Sport co-commentator Mark Bright

Good point from Brighty - we are seeing a lot of aerial action.

1734: Guinea are on the ropes as darling of the crowd Michael Essien stretches his not inconsiderable neck muscles to bash a header against the post.

Living a charmed life that goal.

1732: Early evening in Accra and the floodlights beam across my technicolour vista. Apparently the drums are made of inflatable plastic. That's genius.

Ghana waste a free-kick from Sulley Muntari.

1729 Deep cross from the right headed back across the box and Asamoah Gyan's overhead kick sends the ball flashing past the upright. Acrobatic stuff.

1726: Ghana come within inches of taking the lead as Junior Agogo's powerful header hits the post from Quincy Owusu Abeyie's cross. Guinea keeper Kemoko Camara was a beaten man.

1723: Guinea's Ismael Bangoura breaks forward to shoot but, in the manner of someone whose boots are too big for them, he scoops the ball miles over the bar.

Tournament football means random brass bands peppered around the stands. The Africa Cup of Nations is doing itself proud in this respect. Beautiful trumpet music drifts across the pitch. Still goalless.

1718: Master of the dark arts? Michael Essien is rampaging forward with menace. I'm telling you, this is miles better than any Premier League game.

But if you must, Man City are taking on West Ham and my colleague Stevo is wittily monitoring events from the Blue Camp aka Eastlands.

1716: Two chances in twenty seconds for Udinese hitman Asamoah Gyan. Should have done better with the first after Sulley Muntari cleverly played him into the box.

1714: Pressure seems to be playing a part here as both teams scrap for possession in the opening phases. 45,000 crammed into the stadium and the decibel level is high. Very high.

1709: "Following on a line in Kabul. A picture? Its white, minus 25 and I am not allowed out. Oh yes, an earthquake yesterday. Otherwise lovely."
Graham via text on +447786 202008

1706: Shrill blast from the referee's whistle and we're underway. I'm very wary of lapsing into cliche, but it's spine tingling stuff. Some players dropped to their knees, looked to the skies, and said quick prayers before huddling together.

But they're scampering around the pitch now and it's game on.

1700: Stunning scenes from the Ohene Djan Stadium where the players emerge from the tunnel and are mobbed by hordes of unruly photographers.

Takes your breath away that kind of thing. Reminds me of watching Mexico 86 as a callow youth. National anthems time now and kick-off is slightly delayed.

1659: TEAM NEWS Ghana v Guinea
No major surprises for Ghana but a shame that Andre 'Dede' Ayew - 17-year-old son of African football legend Abedi Pele - is on the bench. John Mensah of Rennes captains the hosts with Michael Essien alongside him in midfield.

Guinea include playmaker Pascal Feindouno, a prodigious talent who plays for St Etienne. Skillful winger Fode Mansare, whose pace and direct approach make him a handful for any defence when on form, is on the bench.

1647: "No offence to Guinea but this isn't a contest. Ghana to win comfortably." Chacor on 606

1640: Shepherds Bush, W12, London. My rapidly darkening location has been described as many things, but exotic isn't one of them.

Yet millions of people across the world will be watching this opening game and hopefully a good number of you will be following our coverage.

Africa, Alaska, Accrington? Why not paint a picture of where you're watching the match.

1635: You may be an African football connoisseur. Or you may be a complete novice. Either way, all are welcome here today and I'd heartily encourage you to get involved in the chat, either via 606 or the text number above.

For a detailed lowdown on Ghana v Guinea, check out the preview here.

1625: Forget the Premier League. And welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to a three-week festival of noise, colour, and excitement - the Africa Cup of Nations 2008 is finally upon us.

The timing of the tournament might cause controversy, but that's not for now. The time has come to sit back and enjoy as the hosts Ghana take on West African rivals Guinea in this Group A opener in Accra.

I'm making no predictions but I'd like to know who you think will emerge victorious...



SEE ALSO
2008 Cup of Nations qualifying
20 Oct 07 |  Africa Cup of Nations


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