sport

Ghana and Mali reach last eight

Both Ghana and Mali progressed to the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations on Monday.

Ghana sealed top spot in African Nations Cup Group B and a quarter-final meeting with Cape Verde by outclassing Niger in Port Elizabeth.

The World Cup quarter-finalists were simply too strong for opponents who finished bottom of the pool and might have enjoyed an even more emphatic win.

Asamoah Gyan set the Black Stars on their way and Christian Atsu added a second before the break.

John Boye ended any faint hopes of a Niger comeback with the third soon after the break.

Niger, who needed a win to have any chase of progression, could look to one moment as a possible turning point, when they scored what they thought was an equaliser only to have it disallowed, but in truth they were dominated from the outset.

Mahamadou Samassa's early leveller ensured Mali progressed to the quarter-finals at the expense of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Durban.

Knowing nothing short of a win on Monday would see them through to the knockout stages, DR Congo came flying out of the traps and took the lead through Dieumerci Mbokani's penalty.

But Samassa, starting in place of Cheick Diabate, equalised in the 13th minute and while both sides had chances to win the match, they had to settle for a draw as Mali sealed their passage from Group B.