FT: Ghana 1 Mali 0

Last-gasp attacking effort from Mali is waved offsides as Ghana's bench erupts at the sound of the final whistle.

Atsu showing some impressive skills in the middle of the park, turning sharply on the ball and then making a dash towards the 18-yard area, but his team-mates are not the same page and his pass forward goes astray.

With their defence iron-clad at the back, the Black Stars are just playing for time and looking to retain possession.

Atsu bundles the ball into touch inside the box after a great breakout from just over the halfway line from Ghana down the left flank.

Diabate goes for goal inside the area off a rebounded corner-kick, but the West Ham ace can only shank his effort high and wide.

Boateng looks to set-up Agyemang-Badu down the right with a short ball over the defence, but the ball has too much power on it and bounces out of play.

The Eagles trying their outmost to pull level, but their latest attacking opportunity from a right-sided corner-kick is too long for any of their men in the box.

Within seconds of coming on, Asante takes a pop at goal that skims just wide of Samassa's far pot.

Adomah comes off for Solomon Asante to become Ghana's third and final change for the match.

All getting pretty scrappy now, if it hasn't been already, Gyan going down on the right touchline after a seemingly innocuous challenge.

Mali head into the final ten minutes of this encounter desperate to get on the scoresheet and throwing as many numbers forward as they can.

Agyemang-Badu takes a crack at goal from the set-piece that Mamadou Samassa does well to parry into touch off a skidding effort.

Asamoah is withdrawn in favour of Derek Boateng for the latter stages of this encounter as Ghana take an age to set up their free-kick from out in front.

Mamadou Samassa, cousin of goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa, takes to the field in place of Traore.

Replacement Atsu whips his corner-kick in from the right, but Vorsah can't keep his header on goal down.

Traore, now, has his name pencilled into the referee's book; the late challenges are getting a bit ridiculous now.

Christian Atsu comes on after goalscorer Mubarak is worringly stretchered off the after taking a heavy knock.

Paintsil picks a caution for a late tackle out on the right.

Samba Sow takes to the field in place of Mohamed Sissoko.

Yellow card comes out again, this time for Adama Coulibaly's late challenge on Gyan.

Long ball across from the left for Asamoah almost sees the Ghanaian attacker make it two-nil, if he'd only been able to get a better connection on the ball, although the defence may have put him off.

Afful breaks away down the left but his ball into the box for Agyemang-Badu is too long, with Gyan berating him for not feeding the ball to him on the right.

Raibu accepts his yellow card for his late challenge on Maiga after the replacement did well to turn his marker.

Great chance for Mali as Keita cuts in from the left and looks to feed Diabate, only the peroxided Vorsah to make another telling clearance inside the box.

Dauda deals calmly with another weak corner-kick effort from the Eagles.

Mali under all sorts of pressure at the back as Ghana mix up their play between long balls and swift attacking thrusts from the wide channels.

The Eagles making strong runs down the flanks, but the Black Stars' defence hold the line and clear the danger.

Ghana rushing forward, with Gyan's beautiful turn and shoot pushed just wide of the far post.

Adomah with a good square ball from the right, but his effort across the face of goal fails to find a Ghanaian man in the area.

Traore goes for goal from a free-kick out in front, Dauba taking the safe option and tipping the ball over the crossbar for a wasteful corner from Mali.

Gyan chases hard for a long ball to the right, and then cheekily tries to back-heel the ball past his marker and the re-gather but misses out.

N'Diaye goes into the book for pulling back Mohammed Raibu out on the left near the touchline.

Mubarak comes pretty close from Ghana's free-kick from the right, his effort sailing just over the bar.

A promising move from Mali fizzles out as Keita struggles to get his boot to the ball at the near post.

The second half is underway, with the rather ineffectual Diarra withdrawn for Modibo Maiga.

Mali push up through Traore down the right flank, but Isaac Vorsah is on hand to cut him off and force the ball into touch as the half draws to a close.

Dauda stays down after landing awkwardly after beating Diabate to the ball inside the 18-yard box with a diving gather.

Ghana maintain possession, although being driven back, as they switch play from left to right with a few good cross.

Mahamadou N'Diaye rises to his feet after receiving treatment after taking a arm to the face in the tackle.

Ghana clearly not wanting to rest on their laurels as they push in search of their goal before the break.

Mubarak earns himself a booking for lifting up his shirt in celebration, but he maybe won't mind if his goal proves to be the match-winner.

GOAL! After some delay, Mubarak slots home to the right to open his AFCON goal account and the Ghanaians celebrate taking the advantage.

The referee points to the penalty spot after Agyemang-Badu is brought down by a reckless challenge from Adama Tamboura.

John Boye's back on his feet, although rather gingerly, after coming rather worse for wear following a challenge on Diabate.

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu soars highest and gets his head to a free-kick from the left, hitting the left post and into coach to come the closest to scoring for Ghana thus far.

Mali seeing less of the ball, although they could be biding their time allowing Ghana to come at them and maybe catch them on the counter-attack.

The Black Stars push up strongly down the right channel, with some decent one-twos on the edge of the area, but the Eagles back-line stand their ground and hack the ball clear.

Wakaso Mubarak lets fly from distance for Ghana's fourth attempt on goal, but his strike sails well over the top-bar and into the stands.

Albert Adomah's corner-kick from the right doesn't trouble Samassa, but Harrison Afful's angled shot from range from the same side has the 'keeper watching worriedly as the ball drifts over the crossbar.

Ghana showing some good touches on the ball as they try to push up field, but credit to Mali for closing their opponents down before they can really get going.

As we hit the 20-minute mark, neither 'keeper has been called into action to make a save from a shot on goal.

Mali again find themselves in a good position to challenge on goal from the set-piece after Diabate is brought down illegally.

Diabate gathers a long ball out to the right and forces a corner-kick, but Mali's reputed danger from the set-piece doesn't materialise.

John Paintsil goes down and earns Ghana free-kick from range, but the set-piece doesn't challenge Samassa.

Still very much a battle of attrition in what is the third meeting between the two teams within a year.

Asamoah Gyan creates some excitement for the Black Stars fans with a deflected shot on goal, the subsequent corner-kick form the left for Ghana drawing a punch out form the box by Mamadou Samassa.

Sigamary Diarra pounces on a loose pass at the back from Ghana and looks to around his man and cut in form the right, only to be dispossessed near the corner flag.

Ghana finally get a chance to take the ball up on attack, but their attempts to create an opening is quashed.

After a lengthy time setting the wall, as well as the Ghanaian players still arguing the free-kick for Dauda's brain implosion, SeydouKeita steps up and tries to curl the ball around the box to the left, but his effort skids wide of goal.

A certain yellow card for Fatau Dauda as the Ghanaian shot-stopper rushes out his box and handles the ball outside his area.

Adama Tamboura tries to make a run down the left flank, but his closed down on just over the halfway line.

Mahamane Traore is clattered over in the tackle to earn the Eagles a free-kick from range, but nothing comes from it.

Mali are called offsides twice in quick succession as Cheick Diabate pushes up early on.

The match is underway!

Feel free to e-mail your thoughts or predictions to devin.hermanus@teamtalkmedia.com and we'll publish as many of them before - and during - the game as possible.

Mali are rated at 5/2 to beat Ghana today according to our friends at Sky Bet, while it is 9/4 for the match to end in a draw. Seydou Keita is 7/1 to score first, and 14/1 to score a brace, while Asamoah Gyan is 7/1 to do the same.

For Mali, Seydou Keita will once again be their man attacking threat, the former Barcelona star netting the winner in their AFCON opener, but Samba Sow is only set to return to the Eagles side for their final group match with DR Congo following a hamstring strain.

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah should be able to call on defender Isaac Vorsah, who missed the opener through injury, while Anthony Annan is also set for a start after coming on as a substitute against the Leopards. Asamoah Gyan and Mubarak Wakaso had picked up injuries during the draw, but the medical staff are confident the pair will be fit for selection this week.

The Eagles, meanwhile, got their AFCON campaign off to the perfect start after seeing of Niger 1-0 in their opening group match at the same venue on Sunday. That means Mali top the group with three points, while Ghana and the DR Congo are level on one point each, with Niger bottom and just two games remaining before the quarter-finals.

The Black Stars, four-time continental kings, kicked off this year's South African showpiece with a 2-2 draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo, who came from 2-0 down to snatch a vital point.

Good day, I'm Devin Hermanus and I'll be taking you through all the action as Ghana face Mali in their Group B clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 1700 (1500 GMT).


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