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23.11.2007 Football News

Ghana Whips Benin 42

By Daily Guide
Ghana Whips Benin 42

The Black Stars' never-say-die attitude paid off yesterday when they surmounted an earlier scare to trounce the Squirrels of Benin 4-2.

With the victory, the Black Stars are champions of the Zenith Bank Four-Nation tournament, which is a prelude to the Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations.

It was a match that was characterized by scrappy play in midfield, with the Nigerian referee doing very little to protect the players.

In the first few minutes of the first half, it was the Black Stars that proved the better of the two sides with good inter-positional play, silky skills and inch-perfect passes, winning the applause of the ever-cheering Ghanaian fans.

In the 5th minute, Baffour Gyan combined perfectly with Laryea Kingston, but the latter's final delivery could not find the target.

The match continued in a ding-dong affair until the 24th minute when Benin scored through a penalty, stunning the Ohene Djan Stadium into silence. A late tackle by Haminu Dramani on a Benin striker had earned them the penalty, which was superbly converted by Stephan.

Tried as the Black Stars did, they could not find the equalizer in the first half, muffing one golden chance after another, with Junior Agogo and John Mensah being the worst culprits.

Back from recess, the Squirrels of Benin added a second goal to the amazement of the teeming Black Stars supporters in the packed Ohene Djan Stadium.

Not willing to let the Ghanaian fans down, the Black Stars fought tooth-and-nail to reduce the deficit through Junior Agogo. And a few minutes later Laryea Kingston leveled up for Ghana with a classic goal.

When he received an inch-perfect pass from Michael Essien, Laryea went round three Benin defenders to fire a shot into the net.

The Black Stars added another goal in the 84th minute through Skipper Stephen Appiah, who after receiving a pass from Laryea, unleashed a rocket of a shot past the advancing Benin keeper.

The final goal came from Laryea Kingston, who took a powerful free-kick that zoomed past all the players into the Benin net, making the final scores 4-2 in favour of Ghana's Black Stars.

By Mohammed Muniru Kassim