Ghana beat Burkina Faso
LUANDA, Angola (AP):
World Cup qualifiers Ghana beat 10-man Burkina Faso 1-0 yesterday to advance to the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
Andre Ayew's header in the 30th minute was enough to set up a match against Angola in the knockout round.
Ghana finished with three points after two games, one behind Ivory Coast. Burkina Faso finished with one point. The fourth team in the group, Togo, had earlier withdrawn from the tournament after an armed attack on the team bus killed two members of its delegation.
Ghana, a four-time tournament winner, will play Angola on Sunday in Luanda. Ivory Coast will stay in Cabinda for its quarter-final against fellow World Cup qualifier Algeria.
"It was a really competitive match," said Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac. "They kept attacking us. We were playing against an excellent team. The goal made the difference."
Burkina Faso, needing just a draw to advance, was dealt a blow in the 65th when Hamadou Tall was sent off for elbowing Asamoah Gyan.
Missing six of their regular starters, including Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah because of injuries, Ghana made an aggressive start with NAC Breda's Mathew Amoah firing wide from the edge of the box after just 10 minutes.
"We came into the second half with more determination," Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte said. "We just couldn't get the goal we wanted."
Essien, who watched from the stands, has already been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee injury, while Appiah along with defenders John Paintsil and John Mensah didn't make the trip to Angola because of existing injuries.