Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final, Stade d’Oyem – Ghana 2 (J. Ayew 63, A. Ayew pen 78) DR Congo 1 (Mpoku 68)
Brothers Jordan and Andre Ayew scored as Ghana progressed to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-1 win over DR Congo.
After a fairly tame first half both teams came out firing and Ghana took the lead when Jordan Ayew danced his way through the defence before producing a really composed finish.
Paul-Jose Mpoku levelled proceedings with a sensational strike from the edge of the area, with goalkeeper Ley Matampi busting out his trademark bottom-slide celebration.
However, he was soon picking the ball out of his net after the elder Ayew brother Andre calmly dispatched the penalty that sent Ghana through to face Cameroon in the semi-final on Thursday.
That came after Ghana’s Daniel Amartey made a terrible challenge on Mpoku, leaving him prone, but receiving only a yellow card from the referee rather than the red one that the Congo DR players clearly felt he deserved.
Should Daniel Amartey have still been on the pitch? That was a poor challenge, a dangerous one, and had Ghana gone down to ten men at that point, when the scores were level, it may well have changed the game. Instead, Ghana regrouped and put the pressure on for the last 15 minutes.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Junior Kabananga (Congo DR): He was lively from the off and looked like he could be the difference-maker in the first half. With better support from his colleagues the result could have been reversed.
Congo DR: Matampi 7, Issama 7, Tisserand 6, Lomalisa 6, Kabananga 8, Mpoku 7, Mulumba 7, Bope 6, C Mbemba 7, Mbokani 6, Mubele 6. Subs: Bokila 6, Bakambu 6, Bolinga 6.
Ghana: Brimah 7, Afful 6, Acheampong 6, Boye 7, Amartey 6, Wakaso 7, Partey 7, Acquah 8, Atsu 7, J Ayew 8, A Ayew 7. Subs: none.
63′ – GOAL! Congo DR 0 Ghana 1. It’s Jordan Ayew breaking the deadlock of this match, executing his shot brilliantly, cutting in from the left, creating space for himself and curling a powerful right-footed strike into the net.
68′ – GOAL! DR Congo 1 Ghana 1. And this is a STUNNER from Mpoku, after a quick free kick he curls it in exquisitely from about 35 yards.
74′ – FOUL! Oh, there’s chaos now as Daniel Amartey makes a hideous challenge on Mpoku, taking him out with his trailing leg. It’s a yellow card only, but there’s pushing and shoving and general outrage.
77′ – PENALTY TO GHANA! Atsu was brought down by a clumsy Lomalisa challenge.
78′ – GOAL! DR Congo 1 Ghana 2 – And Andre Ayew plays a very casual penalty into the back of the net.
Ghana have reached the semi-finals of the Cup of Nations for the sixth consecutive time.
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