Pantsil off to winning start

John Pantsil got off to a winning start with host nation Ghana at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations although had to be taken to hospital for checks after the game.

A thrilling opening game in Accra saw Ghana earn a 2-1 victory against Guinea thanks to a last-minute winner from Sulley Muntari, the Portsmouth midfielder. Pantsil played at right-back. However, after the final whistle, it was reported that he "felt weak" following a first-half collision with an opponent. The right-back was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital as a precaution.

After a goalless first half, Asamoah Gyan put Ghana into the lead from the penalty spot before Oumar Kalabane silenced the passionate home crowd with a headed equaliser. Despite several opportunities hitting the post, it looked like Ghana would have to settle for a point in the Group A opener, which was played in stifling 33 degree heat, before Muntari popped up with a trademark piledriver.

With celebrations across the country, and dignitaries from world football present including FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter, the Black Stars are up and running and Pantsil will hope to be OK for their return to action on Thursday against Namibia. Henri Camara's Senegal will get their campaign under way against Tunisia, the 2004 champions, on Wednesday.

2008 Africa Cup of Nations (selected fixtures)

Wednesday 23 January
Group D - Tunisia v Senegal (5pm)

Thursday 24 January
Group A - Ghana v Namibia (7.30pm)

Sunday 27 January
Group D - Senegal v Angola (5pm)

Monday 28 January
Group A - Ghana v Morocco (5pm)

Wednesday 31 January
Group D - Senegal v South Africa (5pm)

The quarter-finals will be played on 3/4 February although Ghana and Senegal cannot meet until the semi-finals at the earliest. These will be held on 7 February, with the final set for 10 February.