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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Muntari rocket wins opener for Ghana

Muntari rocket wins opener for Ghana

January 21, 2008 11:31 IST

Sulley Muntari struck a wonder goal in the final minute to give hosts Ghana a 2-1 win over Guinea in the opening match of the African Nations Cup on Sunday.

Ghana hit the woodwork three times, took the lead 10 minutes into the second half but in then end had to rely on a 25-metre bullet from Muntari to grab all three points at the Ohene Djan stadium.

The home side, whose best efforts came in the first half, held their lead for just 10 minutes before Guinea scored an equaliser and then threatened to spoil the home party in the final stages.

But Muntari delivered a goal following a forceful run just when the 45,000-sellout crowd seemed to be settling for a disappointing draw.

Ghana began brightly and Junior Agogo hit the post with a forceful header after 20 minutes.

Eight minutes later midfielder Michael Essien headed against the same post from a corner and in the 40th minute a snap effort from Muntari also cannoned back off the post.

The opening goal came from the penalty spot when Oumar Kalabane brought down Agogo and Seychelles referee Eddy Maillet pointed to the spot. Asamoah Gyan belted the spot kick high into the net.

Kalabane then made up for his error by grabbing the equaliser 10 minutes later from a corner, his header hitting the underside of the bar before bouncing in off Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson's shoulder.

Guinea could have snatched a win had Eric Addo not blocked Ismael Bangoura's late shot while Ghana substitute Dede Ayew's first touch of the ball was superbly saved by Kemoko Camara.

Morocco meet Namibia in the other Group A match in Accra on Monday while two Group B matches are held in Sekondi, including the much anticipated meeting between Ivory Coast and Nigeria. It will be followed by Benin against Mali.

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