African Cup Of Nations 2012 Qualifying: Ghana Unconvincing In Win; Big Matches This Weekend

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana celebrates after the international friendly match between England and Ghana at Wembley Stadium (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Ghana defeated Swaziland on Friday night in the first of a full slate of African Cup Of Nations qualifiers for this weekend

Ghana have unsurprisingly clinched a spot in the 2012 African Cup Of Nations, but they did it in rather unconvincing fashion as they defeated Swaziland 2-0 on Friday night in the only qualifying match of the day. Swaziland, who do not yet have a point in qualifying, were expected to be thoroughly thrashed by the heavily favored Ghanaians. It didn't exactly turn out that way, as Ghana didn't put the game away until late as they struggled to convert chances.

Asamoah Gyan of Sunderland scored in the 9th minute to give Ghana the lead, but was substituted off in the 45th minute despite an obvious injury or tactical reason for his departure. Young talent Prince Tagoe of Bursaspor, Ghana's leading scorer in the competition, had the miss of his life mid-way through the second half, as he missed an absolute sitter from just three yards out. Though Swaziland was never particularly threatening, the game remained in doubt until Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu of Udinese scored in the 80th minute, giving Ghana a 2-0 win. 

Ghana now sits in first place in Group I, three points ahead of Sudan, who have a game in hand and play Saturday. Ghana and Sudan will play on the final match day to decide the winner of the group, though both have qualified for the tournament already.

There are a number of massive games this weekend, with some of Africa's biggest sides still on the outside of qualification, looking in. Algeria needs a win against Tanzania, Cameroon needs a win over Mauritius, and the most desperate side of them all, Egypt, is on only two points and all but toast without a win over a decent Sierra Leone team.

Meanwhile, Malawi and Tunisia are involved in an interesting battle for second place in Group K, thanks to the improbable dominance of Jerome Ramathakwane and Botswana. Don't even lie, you know you want that jersey. The aforementioned Ghana are in control of their group, along with Cote D'Ivoire, South Africa and Senegal. Nigeria and Mali are in decent shape, but still have a lot of work to do. Here's the schedule for this weekend, with major matches highlighted.

Saturday

Mali vs. Cape Verde

Libya vs. Mozambique

Tanzania vs. Algeria

Senegal vs. Congo-DR

Cameroon vs. Mauritius

Namibia vs. Gambia

Rwanda vs. Cote D'Ivoire

Kenya vs. Guinea-Bassau

Malawi vs. Tunisia

Sunday

Zimbabwe vs. Liberia

Madagascar vs. Nigeria

Guinea vs. Ethiopia

Comoros vs. Zambia

Central African Republic vs. Morocco

Sierra Leone vs. Egypt

South Africa vs. Niger

Burundi vs. Benin

Congo vs. Sudan

Angola vs. Uganda

Togo vs. Botswana

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