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Afcon: Ghana 2 Cape Verde 0

A brace from substitute Mubarak Wakaso helped Ghana into the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Cape Verde on Saturday.

The pre-tournament favourites needed until the 54th minute to open the scoring, with Wakaso netting from the penalty spot at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Cape Verde surprisingly dominated after the goal, but failed to equalise and were punished late on.

Espanyol midfielder Wakaso found an empty net in the fifth minute of additional time after Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha had come forward for a corner.

Ghana will face the winner of the quarter-final between Burkina Faso and Togo in the last four.

Kwesi Appiah’s men made a quiet start against Cape Verde as both teams looked to be testing each other early on.

Cape Verde winger Heldon had an early opportunity, blazing an effort high before his strike from distance went just over.

Ghana struggled to make inroads and both goalkeepers were largely untested throughout the remainder of the first half.

It took until the second half for either side to get a shot on target, with Cape Verde striker Julio Tavares heading an effort which Fatawu Dauda dealt with.

But as the encounter came to life, Ghana earned a penalty after Asamoah Gyan was played through on goal, only to be fouled in the area.

Wakaso stepped up and gave Ghana the lead from the spot in the 54th minute.

Cape Verde responded well after conceding and continued to create opportunities, only to fail to apply the final touch as Ghana struggled to keep possession.

They continued to pile on the pressure and midfielder Babanco whipped in two wonderful crosses, but neither found a team-mate.

Dauda was eventually forced to make a save, tipping substitute Djaniny’s effort around his post.

Time was running out for Cape Verde and Vozinha came forward for a late corner, only for it to be cleared to Wakaso, who finished the easiest of chances to seal the win.

Sat 2 February, 2013
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