African Cup of Nations – Agogo gives Ghana nervy win
Thu, 24 Jan 22:46:00 2008
Hosts Ghana moved to within one point of an African Nations Cup quarter-final place after an unconvincing 1-0 win over Namibia in their Group A match.
Striker Junior Agogo back-heeled the ball in from close range four minutes before halftime to ensure a second successive victory at the tournament for the Black Stars.
But Ghana disappointed a 45,000-strong crowd, who had expected an avalanche of goals after Namibia conceded five in their opener against Morocco.
Chances rained down on the Namibia goal but Ghana’s strikers failed to find the target, with Asamoah Gyan the biggest culprit.
“It was more important to take the three points than to score a lot of goals,” said Ghana midfielder Michael Essien.
A second substitution in the second half offered some promise, with the entrance of teenager Dede Ayew and striker Baffour Gyan, but it was Namibia who created several chances on the counter-attack.
Their German-based midfielder Collin Benjamin came closest in the last ten minutes while Brian Brendell twice shot wide from promising positions.
“Before the game if you had told me we’d only lose 1-0 we’d have been happy but after coming so close, we know now we could have done better,” said Benjamin.
Namibia coach Ari Schans, who had described his defenders as “school kids” after their 5-1 loss, was full of praise this time.
“I cannot commend them highly enough,” he said. Ghana need only draw their last match against Morocco to ensure top place in the group standings.