The Black Meteors of Ghana have booked a place in the semifinal stage of the ongoing U23 Africa Cup of Nations following a 2-0 win over Mali on Thursday evening.
A Kwabena Owusu double proved decisive as it spurred Ghana to further qualification. With hosts Egypt beating Cameroon 2-1 in the other Goup A game, the Black Meteors finished second on the table behind The Pharaohs and just above the Indomitable Lions courtesy of a better goal difference after both sides finished on four points each.
Coach Ibrahim Tanko’s men needed to overcome their West African counterparts to qualify for the seminal round after failing to win any of their first two games.
The Black Meteors started the game on the back foot as the Malian dominated open play and nearly grabbed the opener but for agile hands of goalkeeper Kwame Baah kept them at bay.
After both teams failed to break the deadlock, Ghana came back from recess looking a different team altogether.
Coach Tanko made a slight tactical switch by replacing Kwabena Owusu with Robin Polley at half time as Ghana went in search of the opener.
Their incessant attacking game paid dividends in the 74th minute when Kwabena Owusu connected superbly to Kingsley Fobi’s pass to hand the Black Meteors the initiative.
The Córdoba striker sealed the win for the side when he poked home a 85th minute goal.
The win ensured the Black Meteors qualify to the semifinal stage of the competition after Cameroon succumbed to a 2–1 defeat against already-qualified Egypt.