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Africa Cup of Nations

Ohene Djan Stadium (ATT 5,000) 24th January 2012 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: B Diatta

Ghana Ghana vs Botswana Botswana

Ghana 1

J Mensah (25, S/O 67)

ft

Botswana 0

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 5:54 pm, January 24th 2012

  1. Ghana prevail through Jonathan Mensah's first half effort. Join us again for tonight's later game between Mali and Guinea. See you soon!

  2. 90+3

    Ghana's Anthony Annan comes close as he fires his volley narrowly wide of the target.

  3. 90

    There will be four minutes of extra time. Botswana have been applying some pressure with balls into the box, but so far Ghana have looked assured at the back.

  4. 88

    Ghana's Mohammed Abu replaces the industrious Ayew.

  5. 83

    Time running out for Botswana, who are enjoying more possession since John Mensah's premature exit.

  6. 78

    Ghana keeper Larsen does well to punch clear a menacing cross by Mongala from the left.

  7. 76

    Botswana's Mompati Thuma is booked for a spirited challenge on Gyan. The Ghana hitman didn't like that tackle one bit from the stand-in Zebras skipper. To be fair Thuma did little wrong there although he may have inadvertently stepped on Gyan's leg on the follow through.

  8. 72

    Ghana's Jonathan Mensah replaces Muntari. That's a tactical switch in response to centre-back John Mensah's dismissal. Muntari looks far from happy to be coming off.

  9. 67

    Mensah, as the last man, is sent off for bringing down Jerome Ramatlhokwane who was through on goal! Botswana are unable to make the free-kick - on the edge of the area - count as the wall does its job.

  10. 65

    Muntari cannons a free-kick over from range after Ayew was brought down at pace. Disappointing stuff from the Inter Milan ace.

  11. 63

    Mongala pulls the trigger from close range following a neat one-two but the flag goes up for off side. In any event Ghana keeper Adam Larsen was equal to the task.

  12. 60

    Ghana's Masahudu Alhassan replaces Jordan Ayew.

  13. 53

    Ghana's John Boye makes an acrobatic goal-line clearance to deny Motsepe's header at the far post! Earlier on, Mensah beat Marumo to a corner swung in from the right but the Ghana captain was unable to direct his header on target. The Botswana keeper is showing little confidence on set pieces.

  14. 49

    Stevanovich's men continue to dictate affairs with much of the play in the Botswana half. One gets the sense more goals are in the offing for the 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists.

  15. 46

    Ghana get us back underway.

  16. Ghana deservedly take their lead into the break courtesy of Mensa's 25th minute goal. Join us again in 15 minutes for the second installment.

  17. 45

    Muntari creates some space with some nifty foot work on the edge of the area but his shot is blocked. There will be a minute of optional time.

  18. 43

    Gyan powers his way past Mosimanegape Ramohibidu into the box before thundering his effort high and wide from a tight angle.

  19. 38

    Marumo shows great awareness again to beat Gyan to Andre Ayew's clever through ball. Soon after Andre's brother Jordan bends an effort on goal, with Marumo well positioned to make a simple stop.

  20. 35

    Ghana's Sulley Muntari, who is providing great momentum in midfield, finds Jordan Ayew on the left with a wonderful cross field ball, but the youngster's touch on the run lets him down and Marumo races off his line to collect.

  21. 30

    We're at the half-hour mark and Ghana are in relative comfort here as Gyan has a powerful shot charged down from just outside the area.

  22. 25

    Ghana goal! The captain John Mensah turns home Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu's corner from close-range! Botswana keeper Marumo was nowhere in coming out to try collect the delivery from the left. That is Mensah's second ever goal for the Black Stars.

  23. 22

    Ghana, while seeing much of the ball, are battling to break down a committed Botswana outfit, who are showing plenty of aggression in the tackle.

  24. 17

    Samuel Inkoom goes on a strong run down the left for Ghana, but his progress is halted by the combative Gabonamong.

  25. 13

    Gyan forces Modiri Marumo into a regulation stop with another header on goal. The Black Stars are dominating possession early on here, as expected.

  26. 10

    Gyan, making his 55th appearance for Ghana, receives some attention after coming off second best in a midfield tussle. There were of course concerns over his fitness entering the tournament. He looks to be alright though.

  27. 8

    At the other end, Patrick Motsepe balloons his effort over from the edge of the area.

  28. 5

    Asamoah Gyan floats a header harmlessly wide following Sulley Muntari's free kick towards the far post. Ghana were awarded the set piece after a robust challenge from Mogogi Gabonamong, who plies his trade in South Africa for top tier side SuperSport United.

  29. 3

    Botswana's Phenyo Mongala is chopped down as he looks to find space down the left. The Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder has plenty of tricks in his arsenal.

  30. 1

    Botswana get us underway.

  31. For those who fancy a wager, Botswana are 10/1 to spring an upset according to our friends at Sky Bet.

  32. The Zebras will be without suspended skipper Dipsy Selolwane, while Jerome Ramatlhakwane, with five goals in qualifying, is their main threat going forward.

  33. Botswana, who were the first team to book their spot at this year's showpiece, have a clean bill of health save for injured winger Joel Mogorosi.

  34. Stevanovic will rely on UAE-based striker Asamoah Gyan to cause damage up front, while much is expected from big-name players in Asamoah Kwadwo and BBC African Footballer of the Year Andre Ayew.

  35. Coach Goran Stevanovic will, however, be without the services of central defender Isaac Vorsah. The Hoffenheim man is suspended after being handed a red card in his country's final qualifier with Sudan.

  36. The Black Stars, four-time African champions and finalists two years ago, are expected to dominate Group D, which also includes Mali and Guinea.

  37. Greetings and welcome to live coverage of AFCON favourites Ghana's opener with finals debutants Botswana at Stade de Franceville.

Matches

Tables

Africa Cup of Nations Group A

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 South Africa 2 4
2 Cape Verde 2 2
3 Morocco 2 2
4 Angola 2 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group B

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ghana 3 7
2 Mali 3 4
3 DR Congo 3 3
4 Niger 3 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group C

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Burkina 3 5
2 Nigeria 3 5
3 Zambia 3 3
4 Ethiopia 3 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group D

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ivory Coast 3 7
2 Togo 3 4
3 Tunisia 3 4
4 Algeria 3 1