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PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Ghana outclassed Niger 3-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup as Group B winners on Monday and set up a last eight clash with Cape Verde Islands.
Four-times winners Ghana, who have not won since 1982, took the lead through Asamoah Gyan after six minutes and although Niger had a goal disallowed for an infringement four minutes later they rarely threatened again.
The Black Stars doubled their lead through Christian Atsu after 23 minutes and put the game beyond Niger’s grasp when John Boye pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda to make it 3-0 from a metre out four minutes into the second half.
Only some wayward shooting prevented Ghana winning by a far greater scoreline but they did enough to top the group with seven points, while Mali secured second spot on four points after their 1-1 draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah was forced into making one change from the side that beat Mali 1-0 in their previous game because