A second half penalty, and a runaway goal from substitute Wakaso Mubarak helped favourites Ghana beat a resilient Cape Verde Islands side 2-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarterfinal match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Tournament debutants Cape Verde looked to have the better of the more fancied Black Stars for much of the game, and in particular the first half. Ghana, however, were able to weather a storm of Cape Verde attacks to keep the sides level.
Cape Verde looked confident on the ball and attacked as a team, while Ghana were nervous and lacking in creativity.
Ghana's lack of initiative mattered little when the game-changing moment came in the 52nd minute when a penalty was awarded to the four-time Afcon champions. Mubarak stepped up and converted to make it 1-0.
Mubarak doubled his tally in second half injury time, when he caught Cape Verde on the break as they threw everyone forward. He ran from the halfway line and slotted into an open goal to secure the 2-0 victory and vault his team into the last four.
Earlier, the first shot of the encounter fell to Elvis Macedo of Cape Verde in the seventh minute. Macedo found space on the edge of the area, and with time to spare could only deposit his shot into the stands.
Two minutes later, Christian Atsu for Ghana made a run down the right and his cross into the box could not find his man, with the Cape Verde defence rushing back to cover.