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Sports News of Sunday, 29 March 2020


Flashback: England 1-1 Ghana - Gyan rescues Stars from the den of the Three Lions

Gyan runs to celebrate the equaliser for Ghana play videoGyan runs to celebrate the equaliser for Ghana

Exactly nine years ago today Ghana’s top striker, Asamoah Gyan became the hero when he rescued the Black Stars from the hungry Three Lions at Wembley.

England were cruising to victory on the night when the former Sunderland striker stepped up his game to restore parity for Ghana in the dying minutes of the game.

The historic entertaining friendly game was the first and only game the Ghanaian Senior National Team had engaged the Three Lions in a football match.

Read the full match report by BBC below

Asamoah Gyan's injury-time equaliser deprived England of victory in a highly entertaining friendly against Ghana at Wembley.

Andy Carroll's first international goal just before the interval looked to have settled the game in favour of Fabio Capello's revamped England side before Gyan gave Ghana a draw they fully deserved.

Ghana's vast and colourful support inside Wembley celebrated wildly as Gyan bamboozled England substitute Joleon Lescott, not for the first time, inside the area before clipping a composed finish beyond Joe Hart.

Liverpool's £35m striker Carroll still looked short of match fitness after a lengthy recent injury absence - but gave a glimpse of his rich potential when he rounded off a fine move with a powerful finish just before half-time.

Ghana, however, were a threat throughout and Gyan's goal was fitting reward for his tireless display and the Black Stars' ambitious attacking approach.

Dominic Adiyiah forced Hart into two fine saves in the first half, while Ashley Young should have scored for England when he drove a close-range effort against the bar from Stewart Downing's cross.

Despite fears that Capello's decision to make seven changes from the team that beat Wales in Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier would take the edge of this friendly, Wembley played host to a vibrant occasion that was given a game to match the atmosphere.

Capello will be disappointed that victory was cast aside so late, but England's coach can still take away plenty from the game, particularly Carroll opening his England goal account and accomplished performances from Young and Downing as he worked with a 4-3-3 formation once more.

And it was also a memorable night for Wolves winger Matt Jarvis and Danny Welbeck, on loan at Sunderland from Manchester United, as they made their England debuts in the second half.

Capello made the expected changes prior to kick-off, but the alterations did not affect the rhythm of a thrilling first half as both sides showed commendable attacking intent.

Ghana, urged forward by a huge following banked at one end of Wembley, were a constant threat and Adiyiah signalled their positive approach early on when he raced clear only to be thwarted by the advancing Hart.

England's response was swift, with Downing shooting well over from an angle and Young forcing an athletic save from Ghana keeper Richard Kingson with a rising effort from 20 yards.

Sunderland's Gyan was the darling of the Ghana fans, but his ambition got the better of him when he tested Hart from in excess of 40 yards - a shot that carried plenty of power but was straight at the England keeper.

Young's enterprising start should have been rewarded with a goal after 24 minutes. He arrived perfectly on the end of a cross from Villa team-mate Downing but turned his shot against the bar with Kingson beaten.

Hart was England's saviour again when Adiyiah sent in a shot from Sulley Muntari's free-kick, sticking out a hand to make a fine reflex save to ensure Capello's side remained on terms.

Ghana were unhappy when England full-back Leighton Baines launched himself into a 50-50 challenge with Isaac Vorsah that left the Ghana player rolling in agony, but Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir kept his yellow card in his pocket.

As an end-to-end half somehow looked to be ending goalless, Carroll rounded off a slick passage of play to give England the lead. Young picked out Downing with precise pass and Carroll slammed a left-foot finish low past Kingson.

Capello made one change at half-time, sending on Lescott for Glen Johnson - and it was Ghana who made the early running after the break.

Ghana's following almost got the goal they craved as the Black Stars threatened twice within second, England captain Gareth Barry deflecting John Pantsil's shot over the top and Jonathan Mensah heading the resulting corner just wide.

Carroll had given England an hour before he was replaced by Jermain Defoe and Capello later introduced two more debutants when Jarvis came on for Jack Wilshere and Welbeck replaced Young.

Welbeck was not afforded a warm reception by Ghana's followers after pledging his loyalty to England despite qualifying for the Africans.

They forgot their anger at Welbeck when the goal they had been waiting for arrived as the fourth official signalled the start of three minutes of added time.

Gyan's sleight of foot was all too much for Lescott and the striker rounded off a fine night's work with a goal that was greeted ecstatically by Ghana's fans.