Ghana advanced to the semi-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 win over debutants Cape Verde on Saturday in a tense game.
A 53rd minute goal from a spot kick by substitute Mubarak Wakaso gave the Black Stars victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after Asamoah Gyan had been barged over in the Cape Verde box.
In the final minute of extra time, Cape Verde committed every man forward for a corner and when the ball broke out, it found Wakaso who run from behind the centre line to slot in for the second goal.
The Blues Sharks lived up to the pre-match expectation of Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah with their brand of possessive and quick attacking football.
The second half was very opened compared to the tight opening 45 minutes which saw either side not wanting to give away anything.
Cape Verde had best chances in the first half with opportunities falling to Ramos Heldon from a Julio Tavares knock down.
The game’s first yellow card was flashed to Elvis Macedo, who brought down Albert Adomah close to the edge of the box in the 15th minute but Kwadwo Asamoah’s delivery to the far post went out of play before Isaac Vorsah could reach the final ball.
Rabiu Mohammed picked Ghana’s first yellow card in the 26th minute after his tackle sent Carlitos Tavares to the ground.
There was good goalkeeping from Fatau Dauda when in the 28th minute he dived low to claim a dangerous Julio Tavares's low cross from the left just before Marco Soares could pounce to end the half goalless.
Ghana made their first change as Mubarak Wakaso was sent on for Adomah two minutes into the restart.
Julio Tavares tested Fatau when he glanced a header to the far post but the Ghana goalkeeper was quick to react.
The opener came when Asamoah Gyan's run at goal was ended after he was barged over by Carlos Tavares in the 52nd minute for a penalty and substitute Wakaso who had only been on the pitch for a few minutes smashed the ball down the centre with Cape Verde keeper Vozinha diving to his left.
It was the attacker’s second goal at the competition and also from a penalty.
Ghana appeared to have backed off after the opener with the Blue Sharks threatening but failing to bite.
Harrison Afful went into the referee’s book in the 67th minute for showing his studs in a tackle.
In the 76th minute, Cape Verde almost pulled level but John Paintsil put his foot in to clear before Marco Soares could react. Two minutes later Fatau palmed away a shot for a corner kick.
Christian Atsu was replaced by Solomon Asante with thirteen minutes of play remaining and Derek Boateng also took over Rabiu Mohammed
Wakaso could have it two-nil for Ghana but his final delivery sailed over the crossbar with six minutes remaining.
The Black Stars had another opportunity but Agyemang Badu's shot from close range was blocked.
With five minutes of added time, Asante saw his shot at goal blocked by the chest of Fernando Neves.
Fatau came to Ghana's rescue pushing out a freekick aimed for the top and from the corner came the Black Stars' second goal.
With every player thrown forward for the equaliser, the ball broke out and it found Wakaso who run from behind the centre line and presented with an open goal, he slot in to seal victory in a tense and nervy finish.