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Ghana edge through to cup quarterfinals

Burkina Faso's Mohamed Koffi, left, leaps for the ball with Ghana's Dede Ayew during Tuesday's match.
Burkina Faso's Mohamed Koffi, left, leaps for the ball with Ghana's Dede Ayew during Tuesday's match.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ghana qualify for quarterfinals of Africa Cup of Nations after beating 10-man Burkina Faso
  • Andre Ayew heads only goal in 30th minute as Ghana finish second in Group B
  • Burkina Faso needed only to draw to qualify for last eight with the Ivory Coast
  • Ghana next play hosts Angola on Sunday, while the Ivorians take on Algeria
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(CNN) -- Ghana qualified for the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations after beating 10-man Burkina Faso 1-0 in a disappointing final Group B tie in Cidadela on Tuesday.

The injury-hit Black Stars, who have lost captain Michael Essien for the rest of the tournament, will face hosts Angola for a place in the semifinals on Sunday.

The four-time winners needed to win the match to go through ahead of The Stallions, who drew 0-0 with group winners Ivory Coast in their other game.

The pool was reduced to three teams when Togo pulled out following the deadly gun attack on the team's bus before the tournament began.

Ghana, beaten 3-1 by the Ivorians in their opening match, scored the only goal in the 30th minute as midfielder Andre Ayew headed home a right-wing cross which the Burkina Faso defense woefully failed to deal with.

France-born Ayew is the son of one of Ghana's most famous footballers, Abedi "Pele" Ayew, a three-time winner of the African player of the year award.

The Stallions' hopes of scoring an equalizer were dented when defender Mamadou Tall was sent off in the 66th minute for apparently elbowing Asamoah Gyan in the face, although television replays suggested that any contact was minimal and accidental.

Haminu Draman should have doubled Ghana's lead with 18 minutes to play, but hit the sidenetting when unmarked in a great position to score.

The poor-quality match, which saw both sides show a lack of technique in crucial areas of the pitch, was watched by a small crowd of 8,000.

I don't accept at all that this was a fixed match and that we had some sort of agreement with Angola to play for a draw
--Algeria coach Rabah Saadane

The Ivory Coast will stay in Cabinda for Sunday's quarterfinal against fellow World Cup qualifiers Algeria, who have been accused of failing to try to beat Angola in their final Group A match.

The 0-0 draw meant Mali were eliminated, despite beating Malawi 3-1, with the team reportedly making an official complaint to tournament organizers.

However, Algeria coach Rabah Saadane has reacted angrily to the accusations, the UK Press Association reported on Tuesday.

"I don't accept at all that this was a fixed match and that we had some sort of agreement with the Angolan team to play for a draw," Saadane said.

"We would not accept any arranged match. Both teams were playing at the end not to risk anything. It was a tactical game. I asked my players at halftime to do everything possible to avoid making a costly mistake."