- All the latest action from the final two matches in Group C
- Senegal, Algeria, South Africa and Ghana can all still qualify
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It had indeed been coming. After a corner to Ghana, the ball was cleared only as far as Ayew. He screwed a shot into the box but he completely mis-hit it. No need to worry about that though as Boye, inside the box, controls the ball and then puts it through Khuzwayo’s legs.
It had been coming.
The second and third sub of the game for Ghana. Jordan Ayew and Acquah go and Appiah and Badu come. Lacen, by the way, has come on to replace Brahimi.
South Africa’s Rantie has spent the last 20 or so seconds holding the ball up near the corner flag. Bit early for that. Meanwhile, Brahimi is on the turf and then on the back of the emergency cart after taking a heavy fall going up for the ball. It does not look like he will carrying on.
A sub for Senegal. Mané goes and N’Doye comes. Diouf, meanwhile, has been handed a yellow card after protesting too much about a penalty not given.
Algeria look to clear the ball from a dangerous attack but only manage to divert it into the path of a Senegal player via a deflection off the referee. The ball is switched out to the right and Badji – I think – squares one into the box in the direction of Mané, hovering in the six-yard box. It is just behind him but as he looks to wrap his foot around the ball he slips. Ho hum.
Sub for South Africa. Sibusiso Vilakazi replaces Thuso Phala.
Soudani takes a nibble at Gueye’s ankles. The result is a free-kick wide on the left just inside the Algeria half. That is swung into the box and swung right back out again. Bit of a waste that.
Paipss Cisse makes his first appearance of the tournament, replacing Papa Diop. Suggests even more long balls with only creator off.
South Africa look to be playing very deep inside their own half already. This could be a long half for their defence. Elsewhere, Cissé has come on for Senegal in place of Diop.
Algeria win a free-kick wide on the left in the Senegal half. It looks like Taïder is going to lump it into the box but instead the play it short and pass it around a bit, much to the frustration of Senegal who will be a bit nervous right about now. Moments after that Taïder takes out Diouf and the referee notes his name in the naughty novel. Meanwhile, there has been some swinging of handbags between South Africa and Ghana. It all comes to nothing.
There is some early action in the Ghana game after Gyan gets the slightest of touches but tumbles like he has been shot. A free-kick on the edge of the box is the reward for his theatrics. Gyan it is who takes it. He curls it with pace but there is too much on it and over the bar it goes.
This could be interesting:
HT If Algeria score once more and RSA-GHA remains 1-0, we will see a drawing of lots between Senegal and South Africa. #afcon2015
And we are back. (After a long delay as the officials aim for simultaneous kick offs.)
More from our man in the stands:
First 20mins from Algeria there the best they’ve played in the tournament; Senegal came into it towards end of half. SEN 0-1 ALG
As it stands:
South Africa 1-0 Ghana
Some housekeeping. South Africa’s Ngcongca has a yellow card beside his name (for a fairly innocuous foul) and so too does Senegal’s Badji.
South Africa attack down the right-hand side. A long cross is floated to the back post. It finds the head of Ndulula. He nods it down, as he should, but Brimah channels Gordon Banks v Pelé in 1970 and he tips the ball away. A fine save that.
Senegal have woken up and put some pressure on the Algeria goal but M’bolhi does the necessaries. From that Algeria counter with speed and win a corner. That is punted into the Senegal box but they deal with the danger easily enough and lamp the ball clear.
Big blow for Ghana. Injury means Amartey has had to do one and he has been replaced Boye. As for Khuzwayo, he has just pulled off a very good save in a crowded box that has kept his side in the lead for now.
At the other end of the pitch, Jali has been absolutely chopped down on the edge of the box by Wakaso. He could have been sent off but the referee decides the challenge is not even worthy of a yellow.
Souaré – soon to be of the Crystal Palace parish – has come on for M’Bengue. South Africa are in a spot of goalkeeping bother right now. Khuzwayo is down on the ground, holding his hamstring with one hand an beating the ground with the other. He stays on for now but if that beating of the ground is anything to go by, it does not look like he will be staying on for too long.
Senegal’s M’Bengue is down and looks to be in some amount of pain, or perhaps in a concussed state, after Mandi bundled him to the ground when challenging for the ball. The medics try to pick him up but his legs like jelly. That is a concussion. He won’t be coming back on.
That looked pretty reckless from Mandi on Mbengue – blood all over. Seechurn, a crisp, bottled ale with notes of lemon, offers no card.
Gyan has gone done in the box. He wants a penalty. Never ever, as the All Saints would say.
Well well, who saw this coming? A long ball – yes they haven’t stopped – was lumped up towards the Ghana goal and landed on the edge of the box. Masango challenged for it but was knocked to the floor. However, his fleetness of foot saw him back on his toes once again and he took charge of Mensah’s half-hearted headed clearance to hit a belter of a dipping volley that soared over Braimah in the Ghana goal and into the back of the net.
What. A. Goal.
The groups as it stands. Algeria are on six points; Senegal have four; Ghana have three; and South Africa have one.
Riyad Mahrez: Has scored (2) or assisted (2) four goals in his last six competitive appearances for club and country
Oh this is awful from the Senegal defence, who have looked shaky on more than one occasion this evening. A free-kick on the half-way line is launched from right to left by Bougherra and Mahrez just strolls in behind the Senegal defence into acres of space where he collects the ball with a wonderful first touch and then just tucks it under Coundoul with ease.
The first of the evening.
There are a lot of long balls being lumped around the pitch in the Estadio de Mongomo. Meanwhile, back in Senegal v Algeria some decent hold-up play from Diouf, down near the corner of the Algeria box, sees him set up Mané. He takes a touch but a divot in the ground takes the ball away from him.
More goalkeeper chat:
@jonawils S Africa doing the 3-keepers-in-tournament trick last done by, er, Tahiti. (France 78, Belgium, Czech 82, Greece 94 at WC).
That was an absolute shocker of a miss from Feghouli. It was like he panicked and missed when scoring seemed to be the easiest option. He also threw himself on the floor afterwards, pretending to be injured. Think it might have been his pride, rather than anything physical.
Senegal have been dominating the early possession but it is Algeria who have the first opportunity. Senegal fumble around the back and Algeria close them down quickly and gain possession just outside the box. Feghouli is through on goal and only has Coundoul to beat but he dallies on the ball and tries to go around the keeper but Coundoul dives at his feet and recovers the ball.
Peeeeeeep go the whistles and it is off we go. Just in case you are wondering, we will not be covering one game exclusively but we will be doing our best to cover the main events from both.
The four teams are out on the pitch and ready to belt out their respective anthems. Hands are raised to hearts, eyes are deadened and the words are whispered quietly. No John Hayes style crying over there.
Elsewhere in Africa, countries will vote overwhelmingly for Sepp Blatter in this year’s Fifa presidential election, senior officials said on Tuesday. Sigh.
“Africa is solidly behind Blatter. You will find he is very popular on the continent,” said Kwesi Nyantakyi, the president of the Ghana FA and a Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee member.
Blatter faces four challengers in his bid for re-election on 29 May, when he seeks a fifth term as president, which would take him past his 80th birthday.
We finally have some team news from Senegal v Algeria courtesy of the nice people on ITV:
If you, like me, thought that South Africa playing three different keepers in the one tournament was unusual, then the Knowledge is on hand to expose your ignorance. Still waiting on some team news from the Senegal and Algeria camps by the way. Will get that to you as soon as it lands.
South Africa: Khuzwayo, Ngcongca, Matlaba, Coetzee, Mathoho, Furman, Jali, Masango, Phala, Rantie, Ndulula.
Ghana: Braimah, Afful, Rahman, Amartey, Mensah, Acquah, Wakaso, A. Ayew, Atsu, Gyan, J. Ayew.
From our man on the scene:
Press-box rammed; stands pretty empty with an hour till kick-off in Senegal v Algeria. Hot and humid, despite a ferocious storm overnight.
A one-man Algerian pitch-invader dances round the training cones with a flag. It’ll probably turn out he was advertising headphones.
Hello and welcome to this evening’s coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations and the final games in group C. Let’s start by getting the permutations out of the way.
As it stands, Senegal top the group on four points; Ghana have three; Algeria also have three; and South Africa are lagging behind in last with just one point. Senegal only need a draw from their match with Algeria to be assured of their place in the last eight. Of course, a sharing of the spoils would be good enough for Algeria too, should Ghana slip up against South Africa. And of course, should Algeria lose to Senegal and Ghana do one over South Africa, it will be the Black Stars that keep on shining. Heck, even South Africa could go through should they win and Senegal win or in the case of an Algeria win once South Africa can overturn their goal difference deficit to Senegal. But to be quiet frank that seems about as likely as your uncle Liam calling around to your house to say that he has always felt trapped in his man’s body and that he is off to Vegas for the requisite surgery and then he is going to work in a casino as a cocktail server where he can fulfil his ambitions to sing and dance and make people happy.