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Sports News of Thursday, 31 January 2002

Source: AFP

Boakye blast sees Ghana into Nations Cup last eight

...with amazing win
MOPTI, Mali, -- Two goals in the final minute from substitute Isaac Boakye saw Ghana reach the African Nations Cup quarter-finals in amazing fashion here Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso.

Ghana appeared to be down and out after Burkina Faso went 1-0 up in the 81st minute thanks to a superb curling freekick from Amadou Toure in the Group B tie. That scoreline - coupled with Morocco's 3-1 defeat to South Africa in Segou - would have seen minnows Burkina Faso scrape into the last eight on goal difference.

However the picture was to change with kaleidoscopic speed in the final minutes of an extraordinary game at Mopti's Barema Bocouma Stadium.

On 89 minutes Boakye scrambled in his equaliser for Ghana to leave Burkina Faso shattered, knowing that a 1-1 final score would put Morocco into the quarter-finals ahead of the Stallions.

But Ghana were to have the last word.

The ball was swept upfield and Boakye was in the right place at the right time to smash an improbable winner past Burkina keeper Mohamed Kabore.

The goal sealed what will go down as one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of the African Nations Cup, and sparked ecstatic scenes amongst Ghana's squad.

Boakye finally emerged from under a mountain of jubilant yellow-shirted team-mates, looking hardly able to believe the stunning turnaround.

Ghana now advance as Group B runners-up to play Nigeria in the last eight, while group winners South Africa play Mali in Sunday's other quarter-final. The logic-defying final nine minutes in Mopti could not have been in starker contrast to the dreary contest that had preceded it, with neither side ever looking like scoring for long periods.

The young Black Stars side proved woefully incapable of finding the net against a Burkinabe Stallions team who themselves did little to enliven proceedings. A lacklustre first half saw both sides struggling to get a foothold in the game, with neither goalkeeper being seriously threatened.

The best chance came on the stroke of halftime, when Burkina Faso's Belgium-based striker Moumouni Dagano sent a firm downward header just wide of the post. Burkina had two other chances, a 30-yard shot from Toure going wide of the left-hand upright near the half-hour mark, and Dagano clipping a shot past the post after 15 minutes.

Ghana's chances meanwhile were limited to a header from Ishmael Addo on six minutes, which was gathered comfortably by Mohamed Kabore and a half volley from Dereck Boateng that drifted out of play.

Ghana: 12-Sammy Adjei, 6-Amankwah Mireku, 19-Kofi Amponsah, 5-John Mensah, 14-George Blay (21-John Pantsil, 46), 15-Princeton Owusu-Ansah, 20-Abdul Razak Ibrahim, 16-Emmanuel Duah (9-Koranteng Amoako, 46), 3-Emmanuel Kuffour, 10-Dereck Boateng, 18-Ishmael Addo (13-Isaac Boakye, 66)

Burkina Faso: 22-Mohamed Kabore, 4-Mamadou Tall, 3-Brahima Cisse, 12-Soumalia Tassembedo (21-Sanou Firmin, 64), 15-Ousmane Traore, 5-Madou Dossama, 17-Narcisse Yameogo (11-Wilfried Sanou, 48), 6-Mady Saidou Panandetiguiri, 18-Amadou Toure, 9-Oumar Barro (7-Alassane Ouedraogo, 39), 19-Moumouni Beli Dagano

Referee: Chukwudi Chukwujekwu (Nigeria)


Ghana 2 (Isaac Boakye 89, 90)
Burkina Faso 1 (Amadou Toure 81)

At Mopti
South Africa 3 (Sibusiso Zuma 42, Thabo Mngomeni 48, Siyabonga Nomvete 51)
Morocco 1 (Rachid Benmahmoud 77-pen)


 South Africa 3 1 2 0 3 1 5 
Ghana 3 1 2 0 2 1 5
Morocco 3 1 1 1 3 4 4
Burkina Faso 3 0 1 2 2 4 1
South Africa and Ghana qualify for quarter-finals