Ghana and Nigeria have qualified to the semi-final phase of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations as Mali and Guinea fizzles out in Group A.
The Black Stars B despite defending well in the first half were handed their first defeat [0-2] of the tournament in the second half by the determined Super Eagles at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Ghana was dealt with a huge blow in the 7th minute when Isaac Twum [captain] limped off the field due to injury and was replaced by Asante Kotoko defender – Ahmed Adams to fill in the hole in front of the Black Stars B back four.
Nigeria Premier League golden boot award winner – Anthony Okpotu [19 goals] nearly broke the deadlock in the 13th minute after beating goalkeeper Joseph Addo but his shot was cleared off the line by Vincent Atinga.
Joseph Addo had to pull two wonderful saves in two minutes to save Ghana as Moses Peter and Anthony Okpotu all came close to scoring. The Super Eagles were in cruise control in the first half except that they couldn’t find the net due to the heroics of the Black Stars B goalie.
Anthony Okpotu gave Nigeria the lead in the 53rd minute as he blocked Vincent Atinga on his left to control Ali’s through ball from a close range before shooting from the middle of the eighteen yard box straight into the roof of the net.
The Super Eagles extended their lead in the 56th minute through Peter Moses who was adjudged the Most Valuable Player [MVP].
Ghana was forced to end the game with ten men as Amos Frimpong could not complete the full throttle due to injury.
The other Group A match between Guinea and Mali at the Nduom Sports Complex in Elmina ended 1-1.
Abdoulaye Naby Camara gave Guinea the lead in the seventh minute and also gifted Mali an own goal in the 78th minute.
Below is the final shape of Group A: