A solitary goal through Asamoah Gyan handed Ghana a 1-0 win over Mali in their second 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Group D match at Stade de Port-Gentil on Saturday evening.
The second win for the Black Stars consolidates their top spot on the log with six points, thus booking a spot in the quarterfinals.
In the opening 10 minutes, the Black Stars pushed to get into Mali’s final third and they were awarded a corner as Jordan Ayew delivered, only to see John Boye failing to connect with Andrew Ayew’s flick on.
In the 17th minute, Christian Atsu displayed a brilliant piece of skill from the right flank as he beat two Malian defenders, but it ended with a disappointing finish by Andrew Ayew as he fired wide from close range.
However, a minute later, the Eagles pushed forward and they were awarded a corner and defender Molla Wague’s header went inches over the cross bar.
Exactly in the 21st minute, Gyan handed the Ghanaians the lead when he netted with a fine header, beating goalkeeper Oumar Sissoko, which resulted from a sweet delivery through Jordan Ayew on the right wing.
Despite their dominance, Avram Grant’s men failed to bag a second goal and went to the interval leading 1-0.
Just after seven minutes in the second half, Moussa Marega disappointingly failed to keep his shot on the ground as he ballooned his effort at the back post over the cross bar.
The second half was a different affair altogether as Mali dominated the proceedings towards the last 20 minutes, but the Ghanaian defence stood firm.