You are here: HomeNews2008 01 20Article 137914

Sports News of Sunday, 20 January 2008

Source: GNA

Muntari's super strike wins day for Ghana

Accra, Jan. 20, GNA - Midfielder Sulley Ali Muntari set Ghana's campaign for a fifth continental glory on a smooth path when he delivered a "super strike" in the 89th minute to secure a 2-1 victory over Guinea in the opening match of the 26th Africa Cup of Nations at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium, Accra.

The strike threw the entire stadium into wild jubilation after the partisan crowd had sat on thorns for almost 30 minutes following the cancellation of Asamoah Gyan's opener.

It was a game the Stars should have sealed victory before the close of the first half but failed following the inability of Gyan and Junior Agogo to convert some decent scoring chances that came their way. Aside the near misses, the Stars were also denied an early lead on two occasions by the upright as Agogo and Micheal Essien watched in agony as their headers hit it in the 18th and 27th minutes, respectively.

Poised to make amends on resumption, the Stars ensured their efforts were rewarded with a penalty in the 53rd minute when Agogo was brought down in the vital area. Gyan made no mistake by shooting into the roof of the net for the opener with a thunderbolt of a shot that the Guinean Goalie had no answer to.

The jubilations was rather short-lived as the Guineans capitalized on a melee created in the Stars defence to fetch the equalizer through Oumar Kalabene in the 66th minute from a corner kick. Gingered by the equalizer, the Guineans found their rhythm and made serious incursions into the Stars area but the Ghanaian defence stood firm and dealt with the situation effectively. Determined to please the partisan home crowd with victory, the Stars never relented in their efforts to find the match winner and this nearly materialised in the 76th minute but substitute Andre Ayew's connection to Laryea Kingston's cross was given a perfect treat by the agile Guinean Goalie.

As the game moved closer to the latter stages, it was evident that both sides were heading for a draw, but Muntari ensured victory for the Stars with his super strike to end the day on a high note for the home team.
Line Up:
GHANA Richard Kingston, Hans Adu sarpei, John Painstil, Eric Addo, John Mensah, Micheal Essien, Laryea Kingston, Asamoah Gyan/Baffour Gyan, Junior Agogo, Sulley Muntari, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie/Andre Ayew
GUINEA Camara Kemoko, Feenoudou Pascal, Balde Dian Bobo, Correira Victor, Sylla Kanfory, Ishmeal Bangoura, Youla Souleyman, Camara Alsensy, Sakho Mohamed, Kalabane Oumar, Jabi Dauda.