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Ghana beats Nigeria 2-1 in the African Cup of Nations

On Sunday, Ghana beat Nigeria 2-1 in soccer to advance to the African Cup of Nations’ semifinals, the BBC reported.

Host-nation Ghana came from a goal down to beat rival Nigeria in their quarter-final match. Yakubu Ayegbeni gave Nigeria the lead in the 34th minute on a penalty, but failed to hold the lead when Michael Essien’s header put the score 1-1 at half-time.

Ghana played with 10 men for most of the second half when captain John Mensah was sent off for a challenge on Nigeria’s Osaze Odemwingie. In the 60th minute, Mensah took down Odemwingie as he ran towards the Ghanaian goal, which resulted in a red card.

“I don’t know whether John deserved a red card,? said Ghana coach Claude Le Roy. “The referee was very fast to send him off. This case was not clear cut.? (Yahoo Sports)

The winning goal came for Ghana at the 82nd mark, when Sulley Muntari produced a cross that teammate Junior Agogo put into the goal from four yards out.

Yahoo Sports reported that this was the first time Ghana had been behind during the Africa Cup. In the 2002 African Nations Cup, Nigeria knocked out Ghana in the quarterfinals in Egypt. The victory was only Ghana’s second win against Nigeria in the African Nations Cup.

Nigeria had the first chance at goal in the 11th minute when winger Ikechukwu Uche set up Yakubu, whose shot went wide.

Fourteen minutes later, Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan gave Ghana their first chance at goal when his left-footed shot hit the post.

After the intermission, Nigeria came close to going ahead after Uche produced a 40-yard lob that was pushed over the crossbar by Ghana goalkeeper Laryea Kingston

The last two African Nations Cups have been won by the host nation. Egypt won it in 2006 and Tunisia won it in 2004. Ghana looks to continue the trend as they face the winner of Monday’s quarter-final match between Tunisia and Cameroon.