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27.02.2009 Football News

Ghana sends Group B to the wire

By Ghana FA
Ghana sends Group B to the wire

The semi-final hopes of Ghana, DR Congo, Zimbabwe and Libya at the African Nations Championship will be decided on the final day after all sides drew on Thursday.

Ghana once again shared the spoils as the Black Stars had to come from behind to draw 1-1 with Libya, thus leaving Group B still opened.

In a game in which Ghana hit the crossbar twice in the second half, captain Edmund Owusu-Ansah who came off the bench in the second half drew the Black Stars level after Saad had given the Libyans the lead in the opening half.

Ahead of the Ghana game, group leaders, DR Congo and Zimbabwe had drawn 1-1.

And the result left the group wide open as Milovan Rajevac made four changes to his starting team for the crucial Group B game against Libya.

Harrison Afful made his first start as Rajevac picked the Feyenoord full-back over Habib Mohammed.

With Ofosu Appiah suspended for the game against the Greens after being sent off in the first group match, Isaac Owusu was paired alongside Osei Bonsu in central defence while captain, Edmund Owusu-Ansah also dropped to the bench with Jordan Opoku taking his place in midfielder.

Striker Kwadwo Poku started in place of Yaw Antwi.
Ghana, though impressive found it difficult breaching the Greens defence.

However it was the Libyans who drew first blood in the 27th minute when Saad connected home from a freekick to send the game into recess.

The Black Stars needed victory to enhance their chances of reaching the next round as Rajevac ringed the changes before the start of the second half, withdrawing Kwadwo Poku for Yaw Antwi.

Ghana appeared the better side by far but were still lacking in the area of goal scoring.

Two more changes were made with Edmund Owusu-Ansah and Charles Taylor coming on for Rahim Ayew and Francis Coffie.

And the trend of the game was completely changed into a one-sided affair with Ghana pushing for the equaliser.

Yaw Antwi had the best chance of the evening as he skewed his touch with only the Libyan goalkeeper to beat.

A header by Charles Taylor hit the crossbar and bounced into play before Jordan Opoku's strike from outside the box also went off the bar.

However, it was not too long before the Black Stars drew level in the 75th minute when Owusu-Ansah showed composure to beat the Greens keeper for the equaliser.

With the group wide open, Ghana, on two points will play the in-form DR Congo who have four points to their credit next in the final match on Sunday as qualification for the semi-finals goes to the wire. The other group tie would see Zimbabwe, also on two points play Libya, who have a point.

The African Nations Championship is a tournament designed exclusively for players who play in their domestic leagues.

Ghana line up:
Philemon McCarthy, Samuel Inkoom, Harrison Afful, Isaac Owusu, Osei Bonsu, Daniel Yeboah, Rahim Ayew/Edmund Owusu-Ansah, Jordan Opoku, Kwadwo Poku/Yaw Antwi, Emmanuel Agyeman Badu, Francis Coffie/Charles Taylor

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