2 February 2013

Ghana/Cape Verde: Wakaso Double Takes Ghana Through to Semis

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix
Mubarak Wakaso of Ghana, 22, scores a penalty against Cape Verde in their quarter-final match. Cape Verde's goalkeeper Vozinha had no chance.

Substitute Mubarak Wakaso scored twice in the second half as Ghana beat Cape Verde 2-0 and book their place at the semi-final of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations.

The Espanyol midfielder broke the deadlock from the spot on 53 minutes before sealing victory with the second goal in added-on time as the Black Stars triumphantly earned the tag of becoming the first team to reach the medal zone at the tournament.

The Blue Sharks were arguably the toughest test of the Ghanaians at the tournament in the match held at the Nelson Mandela bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The game was characterised by midfield play in the opening minutes with Ghana resorting to the flanks whilst Cape Verde played through the middle.

Against the run of play, the Islanders had the first attempt at goal on 13 minutes with Ramos Heldon delivering a shot that missed target by inches. Offensive midfielder Ryan Mendes tried his way upfront a couple of times giving the Ghanaian defence of John Painstil, Isaac Vorsah and John Boye some stuffs to worry about.

On 19 minutes, Cape Verde survived an attack by Ghana which forced goalkeeper Dias Josimar 'Vozinha' out to clear the ball. Gyan benefited from the ball, fetched Atsu before Macedo Elvis weathered the situation with a clearance.

Three minutes later, it was the turn of the Blue Sharks and Heldon took on the Ghana defence and could only shot wide to the relief of the Black Stars.

Cape Verde closed the midfield denying the Black Stars of the usual free-flowing game. After unsuccessfully trying to break through, Albert Adomah and Christian Atsu swapped position with the former moving to the left and the latter the other way.

The Islanders resumed strongly and few minutes into the second half were unlucky to score after Ghana goalie Abdul Fatau Dauda parried away substitute Luis Soares header from a free-kick. The Black Stars responded immediately and Gyan was fouled in the vital area by Carlos Tavares for a penalty which was converted by Wakaso for his second goal of the tournament.

The remainder belonged to Cape Verde as they pressed the Ghana defence for the equalizer but were denied the equalizer by goalie Dauda with some spectacular saves. Soares 'Platini' gave the Ghanaian defence some sleepless nights with his runs upfront with the support of Heldon.

Nine minutes from time, Dauda parried out Semedo Jorge's goal bound shot before palming away Heldon's free-kick on the stroke of full time. In added-on time, Cape Verde were awarded a corner kick and goalkeeper Vozinha joined the attack.

The resultant corner-kick was headed out and Wakaso got hold of the ball, broke through before firing into the yawning net to seal victory.

Ghana will play either Togo or Burkina Faso at the last four in Nelspruit.

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