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Page last updated at 19:16 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Burkina Faso 0-1 Ghana

By Stephen Fottrell

Ghana's Dede Ayew (R) celebrates his goal
Dede Ayew headed the breakthrough for Ghana after 30 minutes

A depleted Ghana side ensured their passage through to the quarter-finals, with a narrow 1-0 victory over a determined Burkina Faso side.

Dede Ayew's header on the half-hour mark was enough to see the Black Stars through in Luanda.

The Burkinabe, who only needed a draw to progress, were dealt a blow in the second half when Amadou Tall was dismissed for an elbow on Asamoah Gyan.

Ghana follow Ivory Coast through to the last eight from the three-team Group B.

The Ghanaians were forced to make further changes to a squad already heavily-affected by injuries after Michael Essien's withdrawal from the tournament through injury.

And they emerged with an air of determination in an unfamiliar changed strip of red and yellow, with Burkina Faso in white.

Ghana had a great chance to take an early lead from a free kick in the second minute, which Kwadwo Asamoah sailed straight over.

Burkina Faso had their own chance to grab an early advantage when the impressive Hamburg winger Jonathan Pitroipa burst into the box at speed all the way from midway, only to see his effort cut out by Richard Kingson in the Ghana goal.

The game quickly became a stop-start affair with lots of niggling tackles and a number of cautions handed out.

Burkina Faso's Mady Pananadetiguiri picked up his second yellow card of the tournament for a lunging tackle.

Dede Ayew managed to break the deadlock after 30 minutes, guiding in a free header from a well-weighted cross from Samuel Inkoom on the right, after the Burkina Faso defence failed to pick him up on the six-yard line.

Ghana's Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (L) and Mady Pananadetiguiri of Burkina Faso (R) vie for the ball
The game featured several stoppages with tackles all over the pitch

Gyan should have doubled the lead seven minutes later, when he missed a free header from close range after a fine cross from Lee Addy, as Ghana looked to take hold of the game.

The industrious Pitroipa tried to get his team back into a qualifying position with another trademark burst into the box but was bossed off the ball by two Ghana defenders.

Pitroipa, the best player in a half with few opportunities for the men in white, then tried to dance his way into the box again right on the half-time whistle before being dispossessed.

The Burkinabe started the second half brightly, and striker Habib Bamogo should have opted for a cross, when he pulled his shot wide from the edge of the box, with his teammates lining up in the box.

Minutes later, Ghana's Haminu Dramani twisted and turned his way beautifully to the byline to cross for Matthew Amoah, who just missed a close-range connection by millimetres.

Burkina Faso again pressed forward chasing an equaliser, with more free-kicks being given away all over the pitch.

Charles Kabore wasted one dead ball from a good position on the left by curling it over the woodwork, to the frustration of his manager Paulo Duarte, who hauled him off moments later.

Issouf Kone should then have done better when the ball dropped to him in the box, but he snatched at it to fire wide.

The Stallions suffered a major setback on 65 minutes, when Amadou Tall was sent-off for an elbow on Asamoah Gyan.

Ghana's players celebrate their win over Burkina Faso
Ghana's players celebrated enthusiastically at the final whistle

Tall was already on a yellow, but received a straight red for the challenge - in what appeared to be a harsh decision.

Ghana tried to make the extra man count as they pressed forward, but Haminu Dramani sliced wide in the box and again two minutes later was clear on the right of the area when he smashed it into the the side-netting.

Inkoom also found the side-netting on 82 minutes, with men lining up in the box.

There were nervous moments for Ghana a minute from time, when substitute Moumouni Dagano - who only started on the bench, despite scoring a record 12 goals in qualification - fired a free kick from just outside the box over, to the relief of the Ghanaian defence.

Milovan Rajevac's reward for guiding his team to the last eight will be a meeting with hosts Angola in Luanda on Sunday.

"This was a very important game for our team - psychologically it was tough," Rajevac said.

"It was a competitive match, Burkina Faso played more offensively than they had against Ivory Coast.

"They were capable of scoring, especially from set pieces."

Duarte acknowledged afterwards that he sent his team out to play a much more offensive game against Ghana.

"We attacked more than in our opening game against Ivory Coast because whoever plays for a draw will lose," Duarte said.

"Ghana have good players. We tried to get back into the match after they scored but then we went down to ten men and that made things difficult."


Burkina Faso: Diakite, Bakary Kone, Koulibaly (Koffi 83), Pananadetiguiri, Tall, Kabore (Balima 59), Kere, Pitropia, Rouamba, Issouf Kone, Bamogo (Dagano 72)

Subs not used: Sawadogo, Sanou, Ouattara, Gnanou, Sanou, Issouf Ouattara, Zoundi, Yameogo, Nikiema.

Booked: Bamogo 13, Tall 16, Pananadetiguiri 30

Sent off: Tall 66

Ghana: Kingson, Inkoom, Vorsah, Sarpei, Dede Addy, Badu, Ayew, Kwadwo Asamoah, Amoah (Adiyiah 78), Gyan (Ibrahim Ayew 87), Haminu Draman (Opoku Agyemang 90+4)

Subs not used: McCarthy, Osei, Annan, Narry, Adjei, Addo, Afful.

Goal: Dede Ayew 30

Booked: Sarpei 34, Badu 63

Referee: Eddy Maillet (SEY)



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see also
Essien ruled out of Nations Cup
18 Jan 10 |  African
Angola 2-0 Malawi
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Mali 0-1 Algeria
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Malawi 3-0 Algeria
11 Jan 10 |  African
Angola 4-4 Mali
10 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations photos
12 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
07 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations tables
07 Jan 10 |  African


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