FULL TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 1-2 GHANA

  • FULL TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 1-2 GHANA. This match certainly was not for the faint of heart! The Black Stars sprung to life in the last 20 minutes, trailing by a goal, and find a pair of their own from John Boye and Andre Ayew to advance to the knockout stage by the narrowest of margins. It was truly a sensational turnaround from them, and South Africa only have themselves to blame for dropping deep and defending for most of the match after taking the lead early on.
  • 90′ + 3′
    IT’S ALL OVER! GHANA HAVE EXTRODINARILY TURNED THIS AROUND AND ADVANCED TO THE KNOCKOUT STAGE!
  • 90′ + 2′
    South Africa are pressing, and Ghana are blasting every ball clear. Anywhere will do for them! They have just one more minute to see this game out.
  • 90′
    Yellow Card Razak Brimah
  • 90′
    The referee indicates there will be three minutes of added time. South Africa only have pride to play for now, but a goal from them would knock Ghana out!
  • 89′
    Atsu goes down now, much to the dismay of South Africa, as more time is wasted off the clock. Time is winding down and they are close to seeing this one out!
  • 87′
    IMPORTANT BLOCK! Andre Ayew is willing Ghana to victory! The forward is back to help in defence and gets a fantastic block in on Letsholonyane’s shot. He gets up to collect the loose ball and fends off two defenders before winning a free kick.
  • 85′
    SubstitutionBongani NdululaBernard Melvin Parker
  • 85′
    South Africa appear extremely gutted, but they manage to muster an attack and win a corner. On comes Bernard Parker, replacing Bongani Ndulula. Can he be the hero for South Africa? A goal would not send Bafana Bafana through, but it would see Ghana out.
  • 83′
    Assist Abdul Rahman Baba
  • 83′
    Goal André Ayew
    From looking completely out of it just 15 minutes ago, Ghana have miraculously found two goals and are going through as things stand! A sensational ball into the box by Baba is bravely attacked by Andre Ayew, and the captain heads it home for the go-ahead goal!
  • 83′
    GHANA HAVE SURELY WON IT NOW! THEY HAVE TURNED THIS MATCH RIGHT AROUND!
  • 82′
    South Africa finally get the ball out of their own end but they show no intent to push forward and attack. Algeria have gone up by two goals now in the other match, meaning a goal from either side in this game would be enough for the winning team to go through!
  • 80′
    Ghana are in complete control, but they still need a goal to go through. Another corner is not dealt with convincingly, but Atsu’s shot is blocked by Mathoho. The pressure remains on and Agyemang-Badu has a shot deflected behind for a corner. South Africa are pinned inside their own area!
  • 79′
    Yellow Card Dean Furman
  • 78′
    KEEPER HOLDS ON! A free header from the corner is scuffed by Mensah, but Gyan flicks it towards goal. It appears to be looping under the bar but Khuzwayo drops back to make an important catch.
  • 77′
    Andre Ayew fires up the crowd as he wins Ghana another corner. South Africa look shattered and all the momentum has shifted here. Bafana Bafana need another goal, but they cannot get out of their own end!
  • 75′
    SubstitutionTokelo Anthony RantieReneilwe Letsholonyane
  • 75′
    GHANA THROWING EVERYTHING FORWARD! Two glorious chances for them to take the lead! Appiah takes a pass in attack and switches it onto his right, but his shot is pushed off the post and behind for a corner. The ensuing delivery falls for Atsu, but his shot from in close is fired wide of the near post!
  • 73′
    Assist André Ayew
  • 73′
    Goal John Boye
    South Africa drop deeper and deeper in defence and are finally made to pay. Following the corner, Ghana keep possession and Andre Ayew pushes forward. He gets to the top of the area and scuffs his shot, but straight into the path of Boye. The defender takes an incredible touch to control and powers a shot through the keeper!
  • 73′
    GHANA ARE LEVEL AND SOUTH AFRICA ONLY HAVE THEMSELVES TO BLAME!
  • 72′
    Agyemang-Badu makes his presence felt immediately, as he wiggles his way into the area and wins his side a corner. South Africa only partially clear as Mensah gets a shot off from the top of the area, but it is blocked behind for another corner.
  • 71′
    Avram Grant plays his final cards as Ghana try and mount a comeback. Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Kwesi Appiah enter the match, with the coach hoping they can provide the inventiveness which is so desperately lacking. Afriye Acquah and Jordan Ayew are the players to give way.
  • 70′
    SubstitutionJordan AyewKwesi Appiah
  • 70′
    SubstitutionAfriyie AcquahBadu
  • 69′
    The Ayew brothers need to step to the forefront if Ghana are to have any hope of a comeback. They are not creating anything in possession and with just over 20 minutes to play, time is running out.
  • 67′
    South Africa need another goal. They are sitting back in defence, but it is not enough for them as things stand. They are tied on points with Senegal at the moment, but their goal differential sits at -1, with the Lions at even.
  • 65′
    IMPORTANT INTERVENTION! The free kick is headed behind by South Africa for a corner, as the pressure remains on. Ghana play it short before it is delivered into the area. Gyan gets there ahead of the keeper to head back across goal, but Mathoho intervenes to poke it away from Mensah.
  • 63′
    Afful finally contributes in attack, picking a good time to run forward as he takes a switch pass and heads it into the path of Andre Ayew. The attackers is then taken down and Ghana have themselves a free kick from 25 yards out.
  • 61′
    Avram Grant looks on nervously, knowing his team need two goals to go through as things stand. The Black Stars are dominating possession, with the ball hardly leaving the South Africa end, yet they have failed to muster a single shot on target in this second half.
  • 59′
    Ghana are really struggling to create. South Africa have nearly everone behind the ball and the Black Stars do not have an answer at the moment. Mubarak again tries a strike from distance, but this one is woefully wide as the attack fizzles out.
  • 58′
    SubstitutionThuso PhalaSibusiso Vilakazi
  • 57′
    SUPERB DECISION MAKING! The Ayew brothers link up very well, as Andre picks out Jordan, who turns well to break into the area. He tries to pick out Gyan with a short cross, but Khuzwayo reads it well and rushes off his line to punch clear again!
  • 55′
    Mubarak wins his side yet another corner as his shot from 30 yards out is deflected behind. The midfielder has struggled to with his deliveries from the right, failing to provide a good in-swinger, and this one is cleared easily at the near post by South Africa.
  • 53′
    Ghana are certainly pressing now, commiting many more men forward. They have South Africa pinned in their own half and win a corner. Mubarak delivers again, but Khuzwayo shows great command of his area to punch clear.
  • 51′
    VITAL CLEARANCE! Rantie shows excellent pace to chase down a long pass forward and puts Mensah under a ton of pressure. He looks to have the beating of the defender, but Brimah rushes off his line to boot it clear just ahead of the striker’s impending arrival.
  • 49′
    OPPORTUNITY WASTED! Gyan takes, and has all sorts of space to the left of the keeper, but tries to dip it over the wall instead, and winds up sending the effort over the bar.
  • 48′
    REAL CHANCE HERE! Good work from Gyan as he holds up the ball and pushes forward through the heart of defence. He feels contact from Jali and goes down just outside the area to win his side a free kick in a very threatening position.
  • 46′
    The referee awaits word from the other match, and we are finally underway as South Africa kick-off the second half.
  • HALF TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 1-0 GHANA. There is a surprise on the cards here, with Mandla Masango’s wonder goal providing Bafana Bafana with the lead at the break. The Black Stars have enjoyed the better of play, as well as more possession, but have hardly looked threatening on the ball. They will have to change their approach for the second half, as they require two goals to go through as things stand.
  • 45′ + 1′
    First half ends with both teams going out as things stand!
  • 45′
    There will be just one minute of stoppage time at the end of this first half as indicated by the fourth official, as play is halted with Ngconga down injured.
  • 43′
    Ghana are seriously lacking inventiveness in the final third. Their passing in midfield has been pedestrian at best, and their only real threat in this first half has come from set pieces. They have to start playing more direct and making life difficult on South Africa at the back.
  • 41′
    SMART SAVE! Phala puts in some good work on the right, before laying off a pass for Ngconga in space. The defender sends a cross in for Ndulula at the far post, but Brimah dives across to get a hand to it! That is a huge save from the keeper, as Ghana would be in deep trouble falling behind 2-0.
  • 39′
    STAT ATTACK: South Africa are unbeaten against Ghana in their three previous Africa Cup of Nations matches in 1996, 2000 and 2002. The Black Stars failed to score a single goal over that span.
  • 37′
    Yellow Card A. Ngcongca
  • 37′
    The referee has a bit of a shocker as he shows the first yellow card of the match to Angele Ngconga for the slightest contact into the back of Andre Ayew. There has been far worse already in this match, so the decision is a bit harsh on the South African right-back.
  • 36′
    SubstitutionJonathan MensahJohn Boye
  • 35′
    Ghana are now the team with an injury concern as centre-back Daniel Amartey is helped off the pitch. The injury must have occured behind the play, because there was no sign of him picking up a knock. Nonetheless, it looks like he will not be able to continue as John Boye begins warming up on the sidelines.
  • 33′
    SUPERB SAVE! Another free kick for Ghana, this one won along the left. The delivery from Mubarak this time is not great, but the clearance at the near post from Furman goes straight to Rahman Baba. The defender drives a volley at goal with his weaker foot, but Khuzwayo lunges across with strong hands to keep it out!
  • 31′
    AWFUL TACKLE! Jali gets on the end of a dangerous cutback pass from Rantie and has a shot first time. It is deflected behind, but the real concern comes on the follow through from Gyan, as he gets his studs up and wipes out the legs of the midfielder, who is now down and in need of some medical attention.
  • 29′
    Worrying moments for South Africa as Khuzwayo is down and injured. The keeper is punching the ground in despair as he clutches his hamstring. This would be a huge blow for Bafana Bafana who have already used both their back-up keepers in the tournament and relegated each of them to the bench after less than convincing performances.
  • 27′
    HEADED WIDE! Another corner for Ghana is whipped in well to the far post, which has been a common trend throughout the match for the Black Stars. Again they win the header, but Amartey and Jordan Ayew get in each others way and the centre-back sends his effort wide! Ghana are winning every header, though, which has to worry the South Africa coach, Ephraim Mashaba.
  • 25′
    South Africa are sitting back and trying to defend their lead, which is hardly how they want to play the last 65 minutes of this match. Atsu sends another strong cross into the area, but a great defensive header from Ngconga prevents Jordan Ayew from getting on the end of it.
  • 23′
    The Black Stars win a corner and they have already shown the threat they pose from set pieces. The delivery in is good and headed back into the danger area by Mensah, but the keeper rushes off his line and punches clear with authority!
  • 21′
    Ghana are on the front foot, pushing desperately for an equalizer. They are in control of the match, but were in the same position when South Africa took the lead. It did come against the run of play, but that hardly matters now.
  • 19′
    As it stands, both teams are going out! South Africa would be left tied with Senegal on points, but are behind on goal differential. They need another goal, or one more from Algeria to go through. Ghana have their work cut out for them now! They need to win if the other result stands, as a draw would see them go out based on an inferior head-to-head record against Senegal.
  • 17′
    Goal Mandla Masango
    A ball inside the area is not dealt with well enough by Ghana as it is headed straight into the path of Masango. The midfielder chests it down and unloads a half-volley at goal. It sails over the keeper and dips just under the bar! Incredible technique from Masango who has himself a goal of the tournament candidate!
  • 17′
    SENSATIONAL! ABSOLUTE STUNNER FROM MANDLA MASANGO AND SOUTH AFRICA SNATCH THE LEAD!
  • 15′
    Appeals for a penalty turned aside! It is certainly the right call from the referee from Madagascar, as Atsu sends a ball into the area and shouts for a handball as Furman gets a block in. The cross appeared to hit him in the face, however, so the referee gets his first big decision right.
  • 13′
    Meanwhile, Algeria have frabbed the lead at the Estadio de Malabo! This is welcome news for both teams. Ghana would go through as group winners with a victory, while South Africa cannot go through with a draw in the other match. The early lead for Algeria should give them some hope and added incentive to push forward.
  • 11′
    GREAT CROSS! Thuso Phala takes a pass brilliantly in stride, darting up the right flank. He sends a superb ball into the area, but Bongani Ndulula just fails to get a head to it. There is a wonderful pace to this match early on.
  • 9′
    Well it certainly has been an open match early on, but not in the way South Africa were hoping. Bafana Bafana have yet to settle into the match, with nerves taking over at the back. Khuzwayo nearly made a mess of the first shot he faced, but now that the keeper has had a touch of the ball he should be able to sette down and do his job.
  • 7′
    CLEARED OFF THE LINE! Incredible! South Africa are looking lost at the back. A clever run and pass from Christian Atsu allows Asamoah Gyan to have a go from just outside the area. The simple shot is spilled horribly by Nhlanhla Khuzwayo and Jordan Ayew pounces on the rebound. He rounds the keeper, but Eric Mathoho recovers brilliantly to block the shot off the line!
  • 5′
    CLOSE TO THE OPENER! From a free kick, Wakaso Mubarak delivers a wonderful ball towards the far post where Jonathan rises to meet it, but his downwards header bounces wide!
  • 3′
    The Black Stars dominate possession early on, but have yet to penetrate the back line of South Africa. Bafana Bafana will go out with anything less than a victory today, so they will have to push forward which should result in an exciting, fast-paced match.
  • 1′
    Ghana kick-off and we are underway! The Black Stars, moving right to left, are in all white. South Africa are in yellow and green. Plenty on the line today so lets get on with it!
  • The formalities out on the pitch have concluded and the players take their spots on the pitch. We are all set for the start of the match!
  • Coach Avram Grant has made just one change following their dramatic victory over Algeria, bringing in Wakaso Murabak to replace Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu in midfield. Asamoah Gyan one again leads the front lines, alongside Jordan Ayew.
  • Centre-back Thulani Hlatshwayo picked up a concussion in the first half of their last match against Senegal and has yet to recover. They are boosted by the return of Rivaldo Coetzee, however, who slots back in to replace him at the back. Three other changes have been implemented, with Nhlanhla Khuzwayo, Mandla Masango and Bongani Ndulula replacing Jackson Mabokgwene, Oupa Manyisa and Sibusiso Vilakazi. Khuzwayo becomes the third keeper to start for South Africa in as many games.
  • GHANA SUBS: Appiah, Gyimah, Awal, Agyemang-Badu, Sowah, Rabiu, Asante, Otoo, Dauda, Accam, Boye, Acheampong.
  • SOUTH AFRICA SUBS: Keet, Nhlapo, Zungu, Vilakazi, Letsholonyane, Sangweni, Parker, Zwane, Gcaba, Mabokgwane.
  • GHANA (4-4-2): Braimah; Afful, Amartey, Mensah, Baba; Atsu, Acquah, Wakaso, A. Ayew; Gyan, J. Ayew.
  • SOUTH AFRICA (4-4-2): Khuzwayo; Ngcongca, Coetzee, Mathoho, Matlaba; Phala, Furman, Jali, Masango; Ndulula, Rantie.
  • CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
  • For South Africa, a victory may not be enough. Bafana Bafana need a win and a Senegal victory to go through. They could also advance with an Algeria triumph, but they would need a goal differential swing of at least three – meaning Senegal lose by one and South Africa record a victory of two goals or more, or vice versa. Provided that happens, Bafana Bafana would also have to score at least one more goal than Senegal, as well. A draw in the other match would officially eliminate them, regardless of their result. Make sense? Hardly, I know. It will become much clearer in two hours.
  • The permutations for Group C are incredibly murky with all four teams still able to advance to the knockout stage. For Ghana, they will advance with a victory. That much is guaranteed. The Black Stars can also advance with a draw, provided Algeria does not defeat Senegal in the other match. They will also go through as group winners by defeating South Africa and anything but a Lions victory over Algeria in the other game.