Guinea stun Morocco, Ghana scrape home

Guinea brought more drama to the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday with a shock 3-2 win over Morocco while hosts Ghana struggled to beat rank outsiders Namibia 1-0.

Pascal Feindouno scored twice for Guinea before being sent off for stamping on an opponent in a bad-tempered match.

Ghana needed a goal from striker Junior Agogo to overcome Namibia, who were thrashed 5-1 by Morocco in their opening match.

Ghana top Group A with six points from two games, while Guinea and Morocco have three apiece and Namibia are pointless. None of the teams have qualified or been knocked out.

In Guinea’s sprawling capital Conakry, thousands of cheering, whistle-blowing fans took to the streets to celebrate. They waved national flags and pictures of the national team and chanted ”The Elephant has arrived!”.

Feindouno gave Guinea an 11th-minute lead with a crafty free kick, catching out Morocco keeper Khalid Founami from a tight angle, and produced the pass that set up Ismael Bangoura for a 2-0 lead on the hour.

Substitute Hicham Aboucherouane pulled one back almost immediately for Morocco, hitting an extraordinary effort from outside the penalty area, only for Feindouno to restore the two-goal lead by converting a 63rd-minute penalty.

Within minutes the Guinea captain had been sent off for lashing out at El Armine Erbate.

Too little, too late

Morocco got a late consolation from defender Abdelsam Ouaddou who netted with a close-range header in stoppage time but they had left it too late.

Feindouno’s dismissal could cost him a two-match ban and a further suspension from the unpredictable Confederation of African Football would rule him out of the tournament altogether.

”Pascal is a key player and we will have to find a solution,” said Guinea coach Robert Nouzaret.

”We lost the game at the crucial moments. Now we have to battle to beat Ghana to go through,” said Morocco coach Henri Michel, whose side face the hosts on Monday.

Ghana dominated the first half against the Namibians but the Brave Warriors avoided the schoolboy mistakes which had left coach Arie Schans fuming after their first game.

The hosts eventually broke through when Quincy Owusu Abeyie crossed from the right and Agogo managed to backheel it into the net.

Ghana suffered several frights in the second half. Brian Brendell fired wide after bursting through twice in a minute and Collin Benjamin shot agonisingly wide of the post from a corner.

”This game was very diffciult but we won so we’re happy,” said Ghana midfielder Michael Essien. – Reuters

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