Gabon vs. Mali  1 - 1

Article

Africa Cup of Nations wrap: Ghan through after ET, Mali win on penalties

6 February 2012 05:45

Ghana needed extra time to beat Tunisia in the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations, while Mali knocked out co-hosts Gabon.

After their match in Franceville finished 1-1 after regular time, a mistake from Tunisian goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi gifted Ghana's Andre Ayew with a winner in the 101st minute.

Despite the lack of tempo, Ghana were first off the mark when John Mensah met Emmanuel Badu's corner on 10 minutes to give his team an early lead and continue the Black Stars efficiency from set pieces.

Things could have gotten worse for Tunisia shortly after when a glancing header at the near post nearly found its way inside Mathlouthi's back post.

On 29 minutes, Tunisia had a penalty shout turned down after Youssef Msakni cleverly played in Saber Khalifa behind Samuel Inkoom.

The referee waved away Tunisia's claims of a penalty after Khalifa was brought down, but he had the last laugh 13 minutes later when he netted an equaliser for his side.

Asamoah Gyan had several chances for Ghana in the second half, but neither side could find a winning goal as the match went into extra time.

Tunisia thought they had made a dream start to extra time when Issam Jemaa found the back of the net, but his goal was struck out for offside.

And almost immediately Ghana struck at the other end, with a blunder from Mathlouthi allowing Ayew to score from close range and send his side into the last four.

Tunisia finished the match with 10 men after Aymen Abdennour was sent off with 10 minutes remaining in extra time.

Ghan will face Zambia in the semi-final in Bata on Wednesday.

Mali booked their spot in the last four following their penalty shootout victory over co-hosts Gabon.

The sides were locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes in Libreville, with Mali claiming a 5-4 victory in the shootout to earn a semi-final berth.

After a goalless first half, Eric Mouloungui sent the home crowd into raptures when he scored the opener on 55 minutes.

But just as it looked like Gabon would make it to the semis for the first time, Cheick Diabate beat goalkeeper Didier Ovono with a shot on the turn to send the match into extra time.

After a goalless 30 minutes of extra time, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had his spot kick saved, and Barcelona's Seydou Keita stroked home the decisive penalty to send Mali through.