MIDFIELDER MUBARAK Wakaso scored the only goal of the match as Ghana beat Mali 1-0 on Thursday to assert themselves as the powerhouse in Group B at the Africa Cup of Nations South Africa 2013.
It was the Black Stars' first win of the tournament but which took them top of their group with four points, following the 2-2 draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo in the opening game on Sunday.
Skipper Asamoah Gyan put through Emmanuel Badu, who raced into the box and was felled by a clumsy challenge from defender Adama Tamboura, and there was no doubt when the referee awarded the penalty.
Gyan, who said he would never take penalties for Ghana, stepped aside and up stepped Wakaso who made no mistake from 12 yards to give Ghana what turned out to be the winner.
He, however, will be suspended for the next game after being booked for celebrating by removing his shirt to reveal "ALLAH IS GREAT".
The four-time African champions Ghana are now in a very good position to progress to the knockout stage, with Niger next in their final game on Monday. Mali will take on DR Congo.