AFCON 2023: Black Stars secure qualification following victory over CAR

Story: A sports desk report

The Black Stars of Ghana secured their ticket to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations following their win against Central Africa Republic on Thursday, September 7.

A 2-1 draw at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium was enough for Chris Hughton’s side to go through as one of the two sides from Group E of the qualifying series

Goals from Mohammed Kudus and Ernest Nuamah were enough for Chris Hughton’s side as they sealed qualification to Ivory Coast.

The Wild Beats were the better side in the early exchanges of the game and were rightly rewarded in the 25th minute of the game.

Louis Mafouta beat the Ghanaian defence before his touch also took the ball away from goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi, playing the ball into an empty net to give CAR the lead.

Before their goal, Goduine Koyalipou forced Ati-Zigo into an excellent save.

The Black Stars created very little from open play but their best chance at goal came through a setpiece just yards away from the 18-yard box after Osman Bukari was fouled.

Kudus opted to take the resulting free-kick ahead of Jordan Ayew with the West Ham United man putting the ball past Geoffrey Lembet in goal for CAR to level the score just before the break.

Both teams walked into the break with one goal apiece.

The second half was no different from the opening 45 minutes as CAR continued to take the game to the Ghanaians, who were resilient enough.

A volley from a rebound went just wide of Ghana’s post while Salis Abdul Samed’s effort from an Ernest Nuamah pass went straight into the hands of Lembet.

There was no stopping Nuamah this time as the 19-year-old finished off from an Antoine Semenyo square pass to seal victory for Ghana.

The Olympique Lyon forward sealed the victory for the Black Stars as they also booked their place at the AFCON for the 10th successive time.

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