Orange African Nations Championship - Ghana edged DR Congo 1-0 in a tightly contested quarter final match of the 3rd Orange African Nations Championship played on Sunday 26th January night at Free State Stadium in Mangaung. A successful penalty kick from Kwabena Adusei was all the Black Stars needed to knock out a stoic DR Congo. The win sets up a mouth-watering West Africa semi-final against Nigeria to be played on Wednesday 29th January at the same venue.
It was DR Congo who bossed early exchanges before an appreciative crowd about 9000 in the Free State Stadium. The Leopards came close to the opener when striker Mubele Ndombe who had been lively on right flank turned his marker inside the box. He carved out some shooting space for himself only to sky his effort over Stephen Adams' goal much to the relief of the Ghanaians. The Congolese threatened again on 34th minute as the Leopards' mobile midfield had the better of Ghana.
A well worked moved on the left wing ended up with a Ghana clearance that found Chikito Lema Mabidi just outside the box but after bring the ball under control he blazed his effort over the cross bar. The Black Stars looked content with soaking up Congolese pressure but almost opened the scoring when Theophilus Anobaah danced his way past three defenders only to lose his foot as he tried to shoot past DR Congo goalkeeper, Robert Kidiaba.
Adams was the busier of the two keepers in the first half and needed to be fully alert to gather a cross from Cedric Mbidi Mavuanga which Ndombe was waiting to pounce on. For all their forays into the Ghana penalty area DR Congo were fortunate not to go into the break behind Ghana when on 43rd minute Kwabena Adusei failed to hit the target from meters out.
Ghana upped the tempo in the second half playing more offensively and this opened up the game. With sixty -six (66) minutes gone a cross from the right by captain Jordan Opoku was handled by Jean Kasusula Kilitso inside the box and DR Congo gave away a spot kick. Adusei ignore the distractions of Kidiaba to convert the penalty and give Ghana the lead.
With 83 minutes on the clock Yahaya Mohamed could have made it 2-0 for Ghana but failed to beat Kidiaba one on one with the veteran keeper standing tall to block -man of the match Yahaya's effort. DR Congo pressed hard for an equaliser with Congolese players throwing their bodies on the line. On 89th minute Ebunga Simbi needed treatment after a clash of heads with Ghana's Samuel Ainooson as they both attempt to head a corner kick from Heritier Luvumbu Nzinga. Ghana absorbed the late pressure from DR Congo to set up the Nigeria semi-final clash while in the other semi- final Zimbabwe will play Libya also at Free State Stadium on Wednesday 29th January.
Confederation of African Football/27/01/2014