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Sports News
Ghana Through To Quarter-finals 1/29/2008

... Outclass Morocco
PIC: Stars do the "dabu dabu" (Duck) Shuffle
Accra, Jan. 28, GNA - A vintage performance by Ghana''s Black Stars, crowned with two classic goals against Morocco in the last "Group A" game, ensured a comfortable landing in the quarter finals of the ongoing Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Stars, playing to a new tactical plan following the introduction of Anthony Annan in front of defence, with Essien taking up a more attacking role, worked to perfection for coach Claude Le Roy and rendered the Moroccans ineffective in all departments of the game, except in the air.

The Stars thus top the table with nine points and await the runner up of "Group B" which would be decided on Tuesday between Mali and Cote d''Ivoire in Accra and Nigeria and Benin in Sekondi.

Though it was an excellent display from the Stars, the early part of the game saw the team failing to make use of some decent chances created, as Sulley Muntari''s curling free kick was parried over the bar in the 14th minute.

Poised to please the partisan crowd, after a disappointing performance against Namibia, the Stars searched for the opener and succeeded in the 25th minute, when Muntari''s free-kick chipped over the wall, saw Essien making a swift connection to send the crowd into wild jubilation.

Four minutes later, a swift combination initiated by Annan with support from Muntari and Essien located Asomoah Gyan deep in the vital area of the Moroccans but he narrowly missed the chance. The Ghanaians remained dominant and pinned the Moroccans to their own half on most occasions and it was evident that the second goal was in the offing for the Stars.

This time, it was Essien who provided the premium for Muntari to fetch the insurance goal in the 44th minute.

Essien - second time man of the match, set up Muntari, who squeezed the ball past keeper Lamyaghri Nadir with his usual left foot to end the half.

But for near misses on the part of the Ghanaians in the second half, the Stars would have increased the tally by at least two goals to reflect their domination.

In the 61st minute Agogo''s flick hit the cross bar and a rebound from Essien sailed over the bar.

Both coaches exhausted their substitution cards but none of them benefited as the 2-0 score line stood intact till the close of the game.

Line Up Ghana - Richard Kinsgton, Hans Adu Sarpei, John Paintsil, John Mensah, Eric Addo, Anthony Annan, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie/Hamin Draman, Michael Essien, Junior Agogo/Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan/Baffour Gyan, Sully Muntari.

Morocco - Lamyaghri Nadir, Micheal Basser, ouaddou Abdeslam, Erbate Elamin, Kharja Houssine/Sektioui Tarik, Safri Yossef, Charmakh Marouane, Kabous Abderrahmane, Hadji Youseff, El kaddour Badr, Aboucherroune Hicham/Zerka Monsef


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