Ghana 2-1 Tunisia (AET)

By Stephen FottrellBBC Sport
Ghana players celebrate their winner in extra-time against Tunisia
Ghana celebrate their winner in extra-time against Tunisia

Ghana qualified for the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after edging past Tunisia 2-1, following extra-time.

Black Stars captain John Mensah put his side ahead after nine minutes, before Sabeur Khalifa equalised for Tunisia just before half-time.

The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, and remained level until a Tunisia mistake gifted Ghana the winner.

Carthage Eagles goalkeeper Aymen Mahtlouthi spilled a cross for Andre 'Dede' Ayew to tap home.

Ghana had started brightly with Mensah marking his return from suspension and injury by heading strongly from a corner into the Tunisian net from close range.

Tunisia struggled to find their feet in the game early on, but had a penalty turned down, after the Ghana defence were caught napping.

Youssef Msakni took a free-kick quickly from midway in the Ghana half to Khalifa, who was helped off the ball by Samuel Inkoom in the area, only for the referee to wave away Tunisian appeals.

But it served Ghana with a warning, which was quickly followed by an equaliser for Tunisia.

Zouhaier Dhaouadi chipped in a delicious cross to the back post for Khalifa, who headed in decisively past the diving Adam Kwarasey in the Ghana goal.

The second-half was a tight affair with both sides trying to edge ahead, but unable to create enough openings.

Asamoah Gyan tried to get in on the action but struggled to get the better of Ayman Abdennour in the Tunisian defence, who marshalled the Al Ain man well all night.

Tunisian substitute Issam Jemaa then unleashed a fierce shot, which Kwarasey palmed away at the near post.

Neither side was able to break the deadlock, as extra-time was need for the second quarter-final in a row, after Gabon and Mali's tie had also ended 1-1 earlier in the day, with penalties eventually deciding that game.

And Tunisia had the ball in the net almost immediately in extra-time through Issam Jemaa, but he was adjudged just offside.

But with the game on a knife-edge, Mahtlouthi's mistake handed the lead to Ghana.

The Tunisia keeper, who had been excellent all night in goal for the Tunisians, dropped the ball horribly from a harmless cross to the far post from Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, right in front of Ayew, who tapped in gratefully.

The Tunisians struggled to recover and could not find a reply, with the game becoming heated towards the end of extra-time, after Aymen Abdennour's elbow on Ayew earned him a red card.

The Black Stars held out to progress, as they look to end a 30-year wait for another Nations Cup triumph, and will take on Zambia in Bata in the first semi-final on Wednesday.

Mali and Ivory Coast will meet in the second semi-final in Libreville, also on Wednesday.