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Soccer News of Sunday, 13 October 2002


Ghana labour to Rwandan win

The Black Stars, Ghana's senior national team survived a scare from the Rwanda national team before winning 4-2 in an African Nations Cup qualifier at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The Rwandans shot into the lead in the 14th minute when Oliver Karekazi lifted himself above the Ghanaian defenders and nodded home from a corner kick leaving goalkeeper Sammy Adjei completely stranded.

The Stars responded and pinned the visitors to their half for about five minutes but the Rwandan's stood tall in defence and thwarted the ambition of the Ghanaians.

Stars Charles Taylor  beating the opponent’s defence in a chase

The pressure was sustained and defender, Bounaventure Hategekima span the ball into his own net in the 24th minute to draw level for the Stars. The Ghanaians could have gone ahead but Charles Taylor shot at the goalkeeper when he was expertly set up by Peter Ofori Quaye after 25 minutes.

The Rwandans also had their chance in the 32nd minute when keeper Sammy Adjei blundered but John Mensah struggled to push the ball to corner and three minutes later Ofori Quaye put the ball in the net but it was ruled off side.

The fans had something to cheer about in the 40th minute when the Stars eventually went ahead for the first time in the match. Rwandan keeper Cyprian Rwakabubu had pushed back a shot from Ofori Quaye and Taylor thumped in the rebound to put the homers ahead.

The Ghanaian lead was nullified after only two minutes when Referee Pare Lassina from Burkina Faso gifted the Rwandans with a penalty after Joe Hendrix had collected the ball from an attacker in the penalty box. Desire Mbonabucha slotted the ball past Adjei to bring the scores at par once more and into the break.

Kofi Amponsah replaced Hamza Mohammed for the Stars in the second half and the change appeared to have galvanised the Stars who pushed forward and deservingly got the leader in the 57th minute when Taylor showcased some magical performance.

Taylor got a pass on top of the box with three defenders in front of him and he twisted and twirled to turn all three inside out before powering the ball beyond the reach of the sprawling Rwandan keeper. It was a great goal by all standards.

The Rwandans fought back and played a neat passing game but the Stars defence prevented them from gaining a shooting advantage. Derek Boateng came in for Augustine Arhinful and the change seemed to have made the Ghanaians comfortable with possession but they failed to connect the final balls.

With 21 minutes remaining the Stars surged forward and Ofori Quaye who came face to face with the goalkeeper was upended by the latter and the referee awarded a penalty in favour of the Ghanaians. Boateng posted it into the left far corner to widen the Stars lead to 4-2.

Ibrahim Razak took over from Abubakari Yakubu to strengthen the Stars midfield and he announced his presence with some sleek footwork as the Ghanaian mid-field began to show some rev.

On the 90 minute mark Ghana should have gone further ahead but Charles Amoah froze in a crunchy challenge and a Rwandan defender cleared the ball to safety to end the game at 4-2 in favour of the Ghanaians.

In a related development, Black Stars head coach Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie, caretaker coach of the senior national team, Black Stars has expressed his satisfaction with the out put of his team but agreed there is some work to be done before it peaks.

The Stars recovered from a goal down to beat their Rwandan counterparts by 4-2 to move to the top of their group on goal difference ahead of Uganda in the qualifying series of the next African Cup of Nations scheduled for Tunisia.

The coach said the Rwandans played very well especially in the fist half and even though they took an early lead he knew that the team would definitely recover and carry the day.

"We should not forget that they are also playing their first match and a good result for them would inevitably determine their qualification". "The first half was quiet frustrating as they massed up in the middle and did not allow us to play our usual game".

Coach Afranie said the performance of referee Pare Lassina from Burkina Faso left much to be desired as some bizarre decisions he took unsettled his boys.

He said his defence played very well even though momentary lapse in concentration caused their first goal and the second could not be blamed on Joe Hendrick after he had clearly won the ball and did not bring the player down to warrant the penalty.

Regarding the future of the team, the coach said it is very bright and he hopes to build on their performance in subsequent matches.

In other matches Sunday, it was: Mali 3, Seychelles 0; Gambia 6, Lesotho 0; Congo (Zaire) 2, Botswana 0; Swaziland 2, Libya 1; Mozambique 0, Republic of Congo 3; Togo 1, Mauritania 0; Ethiopia 1, Guinea 0; and Burkina Faso 2, Central African Republic 1.

On Saturday: Malawi 1, Angola 0; Tanzania 1, Sudan 2; Zambia 1, Benin 1; Sierra Leone 2, Gabon 0; Cape Verde 0, Kenya 1; and Mauritius 0, Madagascar 1. Algeria beat Chad 4-1 on Friday.


First half: 2-2
Ghana: Elias Ntaganda- Own Goal (23), Hamza Mohammed (41), Charles Taylor (?), Derek Boateng (penalty).
Rwanda: Hassan Milly (16), Hamao Ndijumama(penalty)(42')