The Black Meteors and Cordoba forward Kwabena Owusu’s 74th and 85th minute goals against Mali secured a semi-final berth for Ghana U-23 team at the ongoing U23 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The win puts Ghana on four points after three games in Group A finishing five points behind host nation Egypt, who won all three games with nine points and beating Cameroon on superior goal aggregate.
Both Ghana and Mali started the game on a slow note, with some sloppy passes at both ends of the pitch but the Malians had a slight advantage over Ghana with Kwame Baah in post for Ghana making some decent saves to keep the score at goalless to end the first half.
Ghana came into the second half of the game with much intensity and purpose in search of the opener with coach Ibrahim Tanko bringing on Owusu for Robin Polley in the 46th minute as Captain Yaw Yeboah also made way for Frank Arhin in the 62nd minute.
Ghana kept on the pressure which yielded results in the 74th minute when Spain based striker Kwabena Owusu put Ghana ahead with assist from Kingsley Fobi.
With qualification to the next round of the competition on the minds of Ghana, they kept fighting for the insurance goal, until the 85th minute when Michael Agbekpornu provided an assist for Owusu to grab his second and Ghana’s second on the day.
Ghana with this win has won one of the slots for the semi-finals as three out of the four finalist would make it to represent Africa at the Tokyo 2020 games, with The U23 AFCON Tournament, serving as a qualifier for the upcoming 2020 summer Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.