Footy Times

Tunisia beat Ghana on penalties to reach Afcon quarter finals

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Tunisia edged past Ghana 5-4 on penalties to advance to the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final on Monday.

Goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha was the hero, coming on for the shootout and saving Caleb Ekuban’s penalty.

The Eagles of Carthage had been seconds away from winning in 90 minutes, but substitute Rami Bedoui, who had just come on in a bid to shore up the defence, headed into his own net attempting to clear a lofted free kick from Jordan Ayew to take the tie into extra time and then penalty shootout.

They were leading till then thanks to a 75th minute strike by Taha Yassine Khenis from a Wajdi Kechrida’s cross.

Leeds striker Ekuban was the only player to miss the kick in the shootout, with Ferjani Sassi scoring the winning kick for the North Africans.

Tunisia now face Madagascar, ranked 108th in the world, on Thursday, despite not having won a game in 90 minutes. They drew all three group games before their penalty shootout win over Ghana.

The Black Stars dominated the opening stages of the game, and Nuhu Kasim’s header hit the outside of the post.

They had a first-half goal controversially disallowed. Thomas Partey fed Jordan Ayew, who crossed for his brother Andre to score a backheel.

The referee ruled the goal out for a Partey handball, with VAR not coming in until the quarter-finals, but the Atletico midfielder controlled the ball with his chest.

Tunisia took control when Wahbi Khazri, who was an injury doubt, came on in the 68th minute. Moments later his corner was headed on to the bar by Khenissi.

The breakthrough came as Khazri backheeled the ball into the path of Kechrida, whose cross was swept home via the post by Khenissi.

Ghana’s Mubarak Wakaso had a 30-yard shot tipped on to the post and then had a hand in the equaliser.

Defender Bedoui came on for Khenissi in the last minute to help them see the game out – but headed Wakaso’s free-kick into his own net with his first involvement.

Both sides had chances in extra time, but failed to take them, so the game went to penalties.

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