Ghana put up a nondescript performance to draw 1-1 with 10-man Guinea but topped Group D for a quarter-final clash against Tunisia.Â
Two beautiful goals from both sides in the first half meant points shared but Guinea were eliminated after Mali beat Botswana 2-1 to advance.
Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu fired a volley from 20-yards for the Ghanaâ€™s opener and Razzagui Camara harmless cross beat hapless Kwarasey in post for the Black Stars.
The game started on a cagey note with both sides feeling the pores of each other.
The Guineans looked too slick for the Ghanaians and it clearly showed when Massawudu Alhassan brought down Ibrahima Diallo to draw the first yellow card of the match in just the 3rd minute.
The Syli Nationale looked the more composed side in the opening 10 minutes and it almost paid dividends as a quick counter attack by the Guineans almost resulted into as a penalty.
But Diallo Sadioâ€™s appeal was less convincing as replays showed goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey did not make enough contact to warrant a spot kick.
The game then went through a stale 10 minutes as both sides tried to outdo each other with most of the play focused in the midfield area.
The Guineans however upped their game halfway through the first half which earned them a number of corner kicks in succession but they were all wasted.
The impressive Ibrahima Traore was played through clean on goal in the 26th minute and made no mistakes in sliding the ball through the legs of on-rushing Kwarasey but he was already flagged offside.
The Black Stars who have been sluggish until then however jumped into the lead two minutes later with a well worked corner kick which saw midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu blast the ball past Yattara Moussa of his own half-volley.
Goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey was called into action in the 37th minute where he proved at least he is making improvements with his aerial presence after making two successive punch outs off a corner to relief the pressure on the Ghana defence.
Referee Daniel Bennett then stole the limelight for a moment when he failed to award a blatant penalty to Ghana after captain Kamil Zayate practically wrestled down skillful Asamoah Gyan in the box in the 40th minute.
The Black Stars could have however doubles their lead seconds later after Samuel Inkoom profited from a goal-mouth scramble but his looping shot went agonizingly wide.
Asamoah Gyan almost racked up another goal on the stroke of halftime as his near-post shot was well grabbed by Moussa but the Al Ain striker clearly should have chosen the pass option as the angle was very tight.
His wasted chance was dearly punished as what seemed a harmless cross by Abdoul Camara somehow managed to find its way into the Ghana net to draw level just before the referee sent both teams to recess.
The Guineans started the second half the more determined side as they created some few descent chances which were all wasted.
Ismael Bangoura could have almost edged his side into the lead in the 53rd minute but for the timely intervention of Kwarsey who needed some medical assistance after his challenge.
The Guineans kept pushing Ghana more and more deeper into their half but the Black Stars kept repelling the insistent attacks.
Mamadou Bah was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 69th minute for a bad foul on John Paintsil.
After a couple of substitutions, the game practically went dead with both teams not sure whether to attack or defend.
Ghana benefited from a free kick in a very promising area, but Kwadwo Asamoah could only curl straight into the waiting arms of Moussa in the 89th minute.
And so will the match end, a very difficult day in the office for the Black Stars but they still go through as Group D winners. Guinea on the other hand say bye bye to the competition.
Adam Kwarasey, John Paintsil, Masahudu Alhassan, Isaac Vorsah, John Boye, Anthony Annan/Derek Boateng, Samuel Inkoom, Agyemang Badu, Asamoah Gyan/Prince Tagoe, Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew/Charles Takyi.
Watch goals of the match below: