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23.02.2009 Sports News

Rahim Ayew saves Ghana's blushes

By myjoyonline
Rahim Ayew saves Ghana's blushes

Two goals from midfielder Ibrahim Ayew, son of Ghana's soccer legend Abedi Aye Pele saved the blushes of the Black Stars and the entire nation in a pulsating 2-2 game against Zimbabwe in the on-going inaugural Championship of Africa Tournament.

The Black Stars were down as early as the 5th minute courtesy a stupendous header from Zimbabwe's Karuru who connected a pin-point cross from Marufu on the left.

Marufu, easily the player of the match, teasingly outwitted Ofosu Appiah on the left before setting up Karuru whose fierce header bounced in front of goalkeeper Philemon Maccarthy in post for the Black Stars and into the net.

Rahim Ayew out on defensive duties for the Stars, gifted the Zimbabweans their second goal in the 37th minute when his weak back-pass-header was latched on by Marufu who slotted it past Philemon once more.

The Black Stars lifted up their game, with right back Samuel Inkoom asserting himself with some rampaging runs on the right and some audacious strikes which kept the Zimbabwe goalkeeper always alert.

Rahim Ayew redeemed a goal in the 44th minute after a terrific strike from close range.

Ayew proved a handful for the Zimbabwean defence with his outstanding runs and deft touches, leaving his markers with no option than to hack him down on many occasions.

Back from recess the Stars dominated the game with some excellent passes, good inter-positional play but created almost next to nothing in the final third of their opponent's goal area.

Marufu, a slippery customer on the day once again outpaced Appiah on the left and dispatched a thunderbolt left footer to which Maccarthy managed a narrow tip to direct the goal-bound shot onto the bar as the ball bounced back into play and away from danger.

A total team performance from the Stars and a touch of brilliance again by Ayew earned the Ghanaians the much needed equalizer late in the second half when he beat his marker and sent a terrific strike from an acute angle which the Zimbabwean goalkeeper only managed to push into his own net.

The Stars were let off the hook when Philemon McCarthy once again pulled an important save late into added time.

DR Congo and Libya are the other sides in the group.

Zambia on Sunday walloped hosts, Cote D'Ivoire 3:0 while Senegal pipped Tanzania by a lone goal.

Story by Nathan Gadugah