Black Stars FULL TIME: Ghana 1-0 Algeria By sports5050 - 23.01.15 FULL TIME – Ghana 1-0 Algeria: A scrappy affair in Mongomo was decided late on as Gyan scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner to earn his side their first points of the tournament. They join the Fennec Foxes on three points in Group C, and the striker’s goal is even more impressive as he overcame a bout of malaria to feature today. 90′ + 4′ There’s no time for Algeria to get back into this, as the referee brings the game to a close! 90′ + 2′ Assist Wakaso 90′ + 2′ Goal Asamoah Gyan GOOOOOOOOAAAAL!! GYAN NETS THE WINNER! The striker latches onto a long ball, using his pace and strength to get the better of Medjani. From the right side of the box he fires an effort across goal which nestles inside the far corner! 90′ + 1′ We are into the first of three additional minutes. 89′ Mahrez comes wide to the right and spots Feghouli in space inside the box. The Valencia man takes a touch and then digs out a cross which he stands up on the far side of the area. There is no green shirt to supply a finish, though! 87′ SubstitutionYacine BrahimiFoued Kadir 87′ That will be Brahimi’s final contribution as he comes off for Kadir. 86′ Amartey strides up from the back and draws a foul from Brahimi around 25 yards out from goal. This is another great opportunity for the Black Stars. 85′ A cross from the left bounces through for Asante to get his first touch on the right-hand side of the box. It’s a poor one, though, as he simply knocks the ball out of play for a goal kick. 84′ SubstitutionAndré AyewS. Asante 84′ A third, and final, substitution for Ghana, with Andre Ayew being replaced by Asante. 83′ That’s poor from Wakaso! He’s really struggled to adapt to the game since his introduction and he needlessly cedes possession with a sloppy pass in midfield that goes out for a throw in. 81′ It’s over the top! Gyan attempts to bend the ball over the wall and into the top-right corner, but instead blazes his effort miles above the crossbar. 80′ Ghana are awarded a free kick in a central position, 25 yards out from goal, and Gyan and Badu stand over it… 78′ SubstitutionJordan AyewMahatma Osumanu Otoo 78′ Jordan Ayew is withdrawn in Avram Grant’s second change, and Otoo comes on in his stead. 76′ Mahrez picks up the ball on the left and is sent down towards the byline by Amartey. He has options in the middle but decides to go for goal, and his powerful strike flies well wide of the near post. 75′ Both sides are beginning to search for a winning goal, and it is leading to greater spaces opening up on the pitch. There haven’t been many chances so far tonight, but there could certainly be a late strike if it continues in this manner. 73′ Yellow Card Nabil Bentaleb 73′ Bentaleb trips Badu as he attempts to break forward and launch Ghana on a counterattack. It earns him a yellow card, and he cannot really argue with that. 72′ Andre Ayew isn’t happy with missing that! He finds space between the defenders to get his head on Atsu’s cross, but it’s a little too high for him to get over it and steer it on target. 71′ SubstitutionLacenRiyad Mahrez 71′ Gourcuff makes his second change of the evening, with Lacen making way for Mahrez. Bentaleb will now take up a central position with the Leicester City winger likely to operate from the left. 69′ The game is beginning to open up now, with passes being sent in behind the defences at both ends. Ghana could really do with winning this, while Algeria won’t want to go into their final game against Senegal needing a result. 67′ Gyan finds space between Bougherra and Mandi and races towards the box. He opts to take his shot early and loses his footing as he does so, fumbling his effort far wide of the upright. 66′ JUST WIDE! Algeria break at pace, with Feghouli finding Brahimi, who sends a pass out to the left for an unmarked Bentaleb. The Tottenham midfielder attempts to guide a shot inside the far post, but he sends it off target! 65′ Wakaso flights a free kick into the box from deep on the right but his delivery is poor, flying beyond every man in the box on its way out for a goal kick. 63′ The Black Stars counterattack and Gyan times his run through the middle perfectly. Jordan Ayew clips a pass over the top to him but the flag goes up on the far side for a rather controversial offside decision! He was onside, without a doubt. 61′ SO CLOSE! Ghana switch the play out to the left for Andre Ayew, and he turns Mandi inside out before sending a low cross to Jordan Ayew on the corner of the six-yard box. He flings a foot at the delivery and flicks a shot just over the top. 59′ Bentaleb clips a long pass up from the left, looking for Slimani. He gets too much behind it, though, and Razak is able to collect before the Sporting striker can get anywhere near it. 57′ Algeria are yet to get going in this half, so Gourcuff will be expecting Slimani to make an impact in the later stages. He scored in their previous outing against South Africa and plays in a different style to Belfodil, so shouldn’t concede as many free kicks. 56′ SubstitutionIshak BelfodilSlimani islam 55′ SubstitutionAfriyie AcquahWakaso 55′ There are changes from both teams as the referee blows his whistle for a foul on Andre Ayew by Mandi. Acquah comes off to be replaced by Wakaso for Ghana, while Belfodil makes way for Slimani for Algeria. 54′ Ghana are certainly in the ascendancy here! After Feghouli fails to get a shot away, the Black Stars break. Atsu comes in from the right and lofts a pass into the box, which Mandi heads back to M’Bolhi with Gyan lurking. 52′ GYAN! That’s the best opening of the game! Badu opens up the game with a pass out to Afful on the right. Ghoulam doesn’t close him down quickly enough and he gets a cross to the near post for the former Sunderland striker. With Bougherra trailing behind him, he connects with a diving header but places it wide of the far post! M’Bolhi was rooted to the spot! 51′ Mandi pushes up on the right and manages to keep Belfodil’s pass in play before digging out a cross towards the back post. He aims it too close to Razak, who claims unchallenged. 50′ Andre Ayew has gone down after having his foot stepped on by Belfodil. The Algerian didn’t mean it, though, and the Marseille man is soon back to his feet to continue. 49′ Mensah opens up the play with a fantastic cross-field ball out to Afful on the right. He controls it with his chest but cannot stop the ball from going out for a throw in to Algeria. This is a bright start to the second half from the Black Stars, though. 47′ Jordan Ayew picks up the ball on the left side of the box and throws a couple of stepovers at Mandi before shifting it to the right. He then fires an effort towards goal which the right-back gets a block too, enabling M’Bolhi to gather with minimal fuss. 46′ We are back underway in Mongomo, with no changes from either side! The teams are heading back out onto the pitch, so the second half will begin shortly. HALF TIME – Ghana 0-0 Algeria: It’s been a match of few chances in this Group C encounter, with the Fennec Foxes just about edging possession in the first half. Neither goalkeeper has been tested yet, with the referee’s whistle continually interrupting the play throughout the first half. The Black Stars could well be playing for their Afcon lives after the interval, so be sure to stay tuned! 45′ + 2′ There is the half-time whistle! 45′ + 1′ Yellow Card Madjid Bougherra 45′ + 1′ Bougherra goes into the book for completely wiping out Acquah on the halfway line as he looks to storm forward on the break. He puts his arm round the referee, but that doesn’t keep the yellow card in the official’s pocket! 45′ Great block! Atsu has come to life in the last few minutes, and he squares the ball to Gyan inside the box. The striker loses his feets as he releases a shot, and Mandi is positioned perfectly to intercept! 43′ Great covering from Medjani! The centre-back has to get across as Atsu beats Ghoulam for the first time this afternoon and looked to sprint into the area. He times it to perfection, but can’t stop the ball going out for a throw in. 41′ We are edging closer towards the interval and it remains all square for the moment. Ghana will be happy to have kept their opponents off the scoresheet, but they’ve offered very little themselves so far. 39′ Belfodil controls a long ball at the top of the box exquisitely before spinning towards the centre. He spots Brahimi streaming up from deep and attempts to roll a pass in behind the defence for him. It’s far too weak, though, and Amartey removes the threat. 38′ Afful sprints forward on the right and whips a great cross towards Gyan in the centre of the box. Bougherra beats him to it, though, and gets enough contact on the ball to send it clear of his area. 36′ There’s no real variation to Ghana’s play at the moment and the opposing defence are dealing with them comfortably. To be fair, Algeria have hardly shone so far either, with the only real opening being the one forged for Bentaleb in the 20th minute! 34′ The tempo of the game has been sapped as a result of the series of free kicks we’ve seen over the past 10 minutes or so. Acquah fizzes a pass into Gyan but it is far too powerful for the striker to control. 32′ It’s been a really scrappy game so far, with numerous poor challenges going in. Rahman catches Taider with his knee in a wide right position and the Sassuolo midfielder whips in the resultant free kick. He fails to find a team-mate, though, and another set-piece opportunity is wasted. 30′ Tempers are flaring here! Bentaleb and Belfodil react badly to a challenge from Badu on the near side, with the Ghanaian taking a shove from the Tottenham man for grabbing the striker’s shirt while he was down on the ground. The referee allows things to cool down and then encourages the players to shake hands and continue. 29′ Ghana don’t seem to be able to get the ball to Gyan’s feet. The majority of the service that he has received has been in the air, and he’s found it difficult to feed off that so far. The Black Stars are awarded a free kick inside the centre-circle and it is clipped long for Mensah, but it evades him to go out for a goal kick. 27′ A long ball up from the back is headed behind for a corner by Ghoulam, and Atsu comes across to clear it. His delivery heads for a swarm of bodies on the edge of the six-yard box, but the Desert Warriors manage to get it clear. 26′ Yellow Card Afriyie Acquah 25′ Jordan Ayew attempts a one-two with Atsu on the far side but the return pass is intercepted and Algeria look to come away with the ball. Acquah does his best to stop that with a lunging challenge on Taider, but it only serves to earn him a yellow card. 23′ Gyan gets a touch on a long pass up from the back and Jordan Ayew attempts to latch onto it. Medjani gets across and blocks him off, drawing a shove from the Lorient man which results in a free kick to Algeria. 22′ Acquah puts in a horrendous challenge on Brahimi on the halfway line, jumping in with both feet and failing to win the ball. The Porto forward comes out of it unscathed, but the referee does not get a card out of his pocket. 20′ WHAT A CHANCE! Mandi is played down to the byline by Feghouli and he cuts a pass back for Bentaleb inside the box. He fails to connect with his shot adequately, leaving it for his left foot and failing to hit the target. He’s moved into a more advanced, central position, with Brahimi coming out to the left now. 19′ Ghana have had a few forays forward into the Algeria half, but at the moment it remains the Fennec Foxes’ game! 17′ That’s a nasty challenge on Andre Ayew! Taider probably didn’t mean it, but he stamps down just above the wide-man’s ankle on the far side. The referee clearly didn’t think there was anything in it as no free kick is awarded, nor a card shown. 16′ Belfodil is going to have a difficult game if the referee continues to award free kicks against him when he uses his body to shield the ball from the opposition. He could have created an opening inside the box there had he not be adjudged to back in to Mensah. 15′ Afful sends a long throw in to the Algeria box but Gyan is unable to control it. His touch does fall for Jordan Ayew, but the forward was in an offside position. 14′ Brahimi’s delivery is extremely poor, failing to beat the first defender who heads it away. 13′ Algeria are awarded another free kick inside the Ghana half after Acquah is determined to have fouled Brahimi as the pair contested an aerial ball. The Porto man will put this into the box himself. 11′ A long pass up the right is controlled by Belfodil, and he instantly comes under pressure from Mensah. He manages to spin the centre-back but is adjudged to have fouled him in the process, resulting in a free kick to Ghana close to the halfway line. 9′ Algeria are dominating possession in the early stages. They began in the same way in their previous outing against South Africa, but they were unable to convert it into meaningful chances. It will be important for them to rectify that today. 7′ Almost a nightmare for Ghana! Amartey sends a powerful pass back to Razak, and the keeper’s touch sees the ball run a fair distance ahead of him. Brahimi chases in to try and steal it away from him but the Black Stars stopper just about manages to clear it into touch! 6′ Gourcuff’s side are popping the ball about nicely here, forcing Ghana deep inside their own half. Ghoulam attempts to clip a pass in to Belfodil but the striker is unable to lose his marker. Still, he turns back and resets the play to ensure his side keep possession. 4′ Algeria are awarded a free kick in a left-of-centre position, 30 yards from goal, and Ghoulam opts to go for goal from it. He smashes his shot beyond the wall with plenty of swerve, but that is what sends it flying wide of the target. 3′ Andre Ayew closes down Mandi quickly just outside the Algeria box, but he is unable to get to the ricochet before it goes behing for a goal kick. Interestingly, it looks as though Bentaleb is lining up on the left side of a midfield four for the Fennec Foxes, with Brahimi playing up top alongside Belfodil. 1′ We are underway! The pre-match formailities are almost over. Ghana are wearing white today, meaning Algeria have adopted their alternate green kit. This will be the 10th meeting between the two nations. Ghana slightly hold the upper hand in the head-to-head record with four wins to Algeria’s three. The players are making their way out onto the pitch in Mongomo now, lining up before the national anthems. If either Andre Ayew or Aissa Mandi are booked in today’s game then they will miss the third, and final, group game through suspension. They’ll want to be on their best behaviour today. Algeria (4-3-3): M’Bolhi; Mandi, Bougherra, Medjani, Ghoulam; Bentaleb, Lacen, Taider; Feghouli, Belfodil, Brahimi. Ghana (4-4-2): Razak; Afful, Amartey, Mensah, Rahman; Atsu, Acquah, Badu, A. Ayew; J. Ayew, Gyan. ALGERIA TEAM NEWS: Christian Gourcuff also opts for a change of formation this afternoon, with Saphir Taider coming in to form a midfield trio alongside Medhi Lacen and Nabil Bentaleb. Riyad Mahrez subsequently takes his place among the substitutes, as does Islam Slimani, while Madjid Bougherra replaces Rafik Halliche in defence. GHANA TEAM NEWS: Avram Grant welcomes Asamoah Gyan back into his starting line-up after the striker missed the opening game with Senegal due to illness. The coach also switches from a back three to a quarter of defenders, with Mohammed Awal the man dropped from the side. Ghana could actually be eliminated from the tournament if they are defeated this afternoon and Senegal win or draw with South Africa later tonight. However, in Afcon 2010 the Black Stars lost their opening group game but still went on to reach the final. They’ll need to call upon a similar resolve this time around, starting in this match!