Muntari fires host nation

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The Independent Football

Sulley Muntari struck a wonder goal in the final minute to give the hosts Ghana a 2-1 win over Guinea in the opening match of the African Nations Cup in Accra last night.

Ghana hit the woodwork three times, took the lead 10 minutes into the second half but in the end had to rely on a 25-yard bullet from Muntari to secure all three points at the Ohene Djan stadium.

The home side, whose best efforts came in the first half, held their lead for just 10 minutes before Guinea scored an equaliser and then threatened to spoil the home party in the final stages. But Muntari delivered a goal following a forceful run just when the 45,000 sellout crowd seemed to be settling for a disappointing draw.

Ghana began brightly and Junior Agogo hit the post with a forceful header after 20 minutes.

Eight minutes later the midfielder Michael Essien headed against the same post from a corner and in the 40th minute a snap effort from Muntari also cannoned back off the post.

The opening goal came from the penalty spot when Oumar Kalabane brought down Agogo and the Seychelles referee Eddy Maillet pointed to the spot. Asamoah Gyan belted the spot-kick high into the net.

Kalabane then compensated for his error by grabbing the equaliser 10 minutes later from a corner, his header hitting the underside of the bar before bouncing in off the Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson's shoulder.