Accra (Ghana), Jan 25: Ghanaian football fans flew into a state of ecstasy and jubilation following their national team, the Black Stars', 1-0 victory over Mali in the ongoing African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Midfielder Mubarak Wakasu scored the solitary goal from a spot kick in the 37th minute after Agyemang Badu, who was running onto a pass by skipper Asamoah Gyan, was brought down in the box by Mali's Tamboura Thursday, reports Xinhua.
Wakasu's kick sailed past the diving Malian goalkeeper Samassa Mamadou. Despite the win, fans and analysts expressed varied opinions about the team's performance.
While some praised the players for fighting very hard to win the game, others expressed disappointment over the team's style of play, warning it could end Ghana's quest for a fifth Nations Cup trophy.
Ibrahim Sunday, a former player of the Black Stars, was full of praise for the team for exhibiting bravado and confidence, attributes he believed won the game for Ghana.
But he warned that the players needed to raise their game to qualify for the next stage of the competition.
“If they continue to play with activity, determination and prudence in defence where they made mistakes in the first match, they can go far in the tournament,” said Sunday, who is also a former African Player of Year.
Former Black Stars midfielder Ablade Kumah also expressed delight.
“I am very much impressed with the team. It's been an improvement over the first game. We needed the three points and we just got that,” he said.
Ghana made three changes to the team that started the previous game for the Group B clash against Mali. Harrison Afful, Rabiu Mohammed and Isaac Vorsah came in for Christian Atsu, Derek Boateng and Jerry Akaminko, respectively.
This is Ghana's second victory over Mali in three outings recently after the Group matches of the African Cup of Nations co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea last year.
Ghana has now four points from two games and will face Niger in the final match of Group B at the Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth Monday. The Black Stars are the fourth best ranked side in Africa.