Sudan win keeps pressure on Ghana

Michael Essien
Essien played his first match in 16 months for the Black Stars

Sudan kept their 2012 Africa Cup of Nations hopes on track with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Swaziland in Mbabane on Sunday.

The result kept up the pressure on Group I leaders Ghana who stay top on goal difference.

Ghana had opened a three-point advantage following their 3-1 win over ten-man Congo in Kumasi on Friday.

Second-half goals by Isaac Vorsah, Prince Tagoe and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu sealed the victory for the Black Stars.

Congo got the consolation through striker Matt Moussilou.

The Congolese were undone by the dismissal of key defender Bruce Abdoulaye for a second bookable.

Michael Essien marked his international return from an 18-month absence by playing a leading role in the win.

The Chelsea midfielder, back for the first time since the 2010 finals after ending a self-imposed exile, set up an early chance with a rasping shot that the visiting goalkeeper spilled.

Ghana struck two quickfire goals midway through the second half thanks to Vorsah and Tagoe.

Moussilou took advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Richard Kingson to pull a goal back for Congo with 15 minutes left but Agyemang-Badu made it 3-1 to Ghana with a long-range shot.

Second from bottom Congo, who have three points, can no longer qualify.