Ghana 1-0 Mali
Asamoah Gyan grabbed the only goal of the game as Ghana maintained their 100% start in Group D with a tight 1-0 win over Mali in Port-Gentil – a result which books their place in the quarter-finals.
The 31-year old former Sunderland striker headed home in the 21st minute when he met a Jordan Ayew corner and steered the ball past the Mali keeper Oumar Sissoko.
Mali had gone into the game needing a win after their opening goalless draw against Egypt, and they were immediately put under pressure by one of the tournament favourites.
André Ayew fired wide in the early stages after being set up by Gyan, while for Mali the busy Molla Wagué looked the best bet to open the scoring.
Gyan’s opener stifled any Mali momentum and the favourites continued to hold the upper hand, with Christian Atsu hitting a shot straight at defender Hamari Traoré.
The Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah made a rare save to deny Moussa Marega at the start of the second half and the same player came close again moments later with a shot from a tight angle.
Jordan Ayew shot wide for Ghana but the underdogs were enjoying a good spell, with Salif Coulibaly the latest to steer a low shot just wide.
The substitute Moussa Doumbia maintained the pressure with a header just over the bar, then Traoré found the side-netting with a volley from 25 yards.
Mali continued to push for an equaliser and came close again 10 minutes from time when the substitute Kalifa Coulibaly sent a header agonisingly across the face of the six-yard box.