Ghana will have to play for third place at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations after losing 1-0 to Zambia in the semi-final on Wednesday night at the Estadio de Bata.
The Black Stars hopes of a fifth Nations Cup title was undone by substitute Emmanuel Mayuka in the 78th minute as Ghana finished the game with 10 men following the dismissal of Derek Boateng in the second half.
On a wet evening and lively night in Bata, Ghana’s first attempt at goal came through a penalty in the 8th minute after Kwadwo Asamoah was brought down in the box.
Asamoah Gyan stepped up to take the kick but Chipolopolo goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene palmed away for a corner.
The Black Stars went close again through Gyan, Jordan Ayew and Kwadwo Asamoah but Mweene was in great form to deny Ghana in the first half to end the opening half.
Back from the break, Zambia were the first to make a change as Renard Herve brought on Emmanuel Mayuka for James Chamanga.
Jordan went on a solo run, beating two markers and letting go a grounder but Mweene went o ground to gather his effort.
The attacker earned a freekick on the edge of the box. Kwadwo Asamoah’s great delivery was met by the head of Boye but from six yards out, the ball flew past the post.
Derek Boateng became Ghana’s second player to be booked after an aerial challenge on Katongo as captain John Mensah, went down injured and was replaced by Isaac Vorsah in the 70th minute.
Three minutes later Gyan was taken off for Prince Tagoe with Ghana maintaining their dominance but with 12 minutes of play to go and against the run of play, Mayuka shrugged off a challenge in front the Ghana box to curl the ball to the far corner of Kwarasey’s left for the opener.
Goran Stevanovic soon threw his last dice in an attempt to rescue Ghana back into the game as Sulley Muntari was brought on for Andre but the Black Stars failed to get the much needed equalizer.