The Black Stars of Ghana earned a hard fought 2-1 victory over the Democratic Republic of Congo to qualify for the semi finals of the ongoing African Cup of Nations.
It was an Ayew brothers clinic as both got on the scoresheet either side of a Paul-Jose Mpoku screamer to give Ghana the hard fought victory.
Ghana missed captain Asamoah Gyan who despite training with the team prior to the game, was only deemed fit for the bench by coach Avram Grant, meaning much maligned Jordan Ayew was chosen to lead the lines for the Stars.
The game started in a scrappy manner as neither side could really gain a foothold and control proceedings, leading to a poor first half. Without Gyan, Ghana seemed unable to keep the ball in positions up the pitch as Jordan struggled with the DRC’s towering defenders.
Ghana’s opponents crafted dangerous chances as the Stars struggled, including a suicidal headed back pass that led to Mbokani rounding Brimah, but he failed to score.
But Ghana took control of the game in the second half, gradually warming into the game as Atsu and Dede caused trouble down the flanks.
The first goal for Ghana started in a fortuitous manner, as Wakaso dispossessed a lackadaisical DRC player, sending Jordan through with a through pass instantaneously.
The much criticised younger Ayew brother kept his cool to waltz past two players and place a stunning shot past the DRC goalie.
The lead did not last though, as Mpoku hit a screamer past Razak Brimah a few minutes later.
But Ghana had the last laugh, Christian Atsu brought down by Joyce Lomalisa in the box and captain on the day, Andre Ayew, stepped up to slot the resultant spot kick past Ley Matampi in goal for DRC.
The Leopards, as they are known, had chances to draw level after, but Ghana’s goalkeeper Razak Brimah stood tall to keep the team in the game and get them across the finish line with the narrow win.
Ghana qualifies for our sixth successive Afcon semi finals, a run stretching back to the last time we hosted the tournament in 2008 – and are rewarded with a tough tie against Cameroon on Thursday.