Imperious Ghana brush Niger aside

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iol news pic jan28 South Africa African Cup Soccer~15

AP

Niger Maazou Moussa, right, fights for the ball against Ghana Harrison Afful, left, during their African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

PORT ELIZABETH - Ghana outclassed Niger 3-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup as Group B winners on Monday to set up a last eight clash with Cape Verde Islands.

Ghana, chasing their fifth continental crown but their first for 31 years, took the lead through Asamoah Gyan after six minutes and although Niger had a goal disallowed for an infringement four minutes later, they rarely threatened again.

The Black Stars doubled their lead through Christian Atsu after 23 minutes and put the game beyond Niger's grasp when John Boye pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda to make it 3-0 from a metre out four minutes into the second half.

Only some wayward shooting prevented Ghana winning by a far greater scoreline but they did enough to top the group with seven points, while Mali secured second spot on four points after their 1-1 draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo. - Reuters


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