Sunday Mar 28, 2021. 19:46
Ghana beat Sao Tome and Principe 3-1 in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification Group C match at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra on Sunday evening.
The victory saw the Black Stars qualify for the finals as Group C winners, while the Falcons and True Parrots Team ended their qualifying campaign without a point.
The Black Stars grabbed an early goal through Nicholas Opoku after some poor marking by the visitors from a corner-kick. Mohammed Kudus delivered a set-piece which was headed home by Opoku for his maiden international goal – making it 1-0 to Ghana in the process just 12 minutes into the encounter.
The visitors probed and searched for another goal after taking the lead and they were awarded a penalty after Jordan Ayew was fouled in the box on the half-hour mark.
The Crystal Palace centre forward dusted himself off and clinically converted the penalty to make it 2-0 to Ghana – netting his 18th international goal for the Black Stars in the process.
The Black Stars didn’t take their foot off the pedal after the break and they extended their lead through Baba Rahman, with the Falcons and True Parrots Team’s defence exposed once more.
Rahman scored with a tap in from close range to make it 3-0 to Ghana on the hour-mark with Ajax Amsterdam starlet Kudus grabbing his second assist of the match.
To their credit, the visitors didn’t sit back and defend in the closing stages of the match as they launched attacks at Ghana’s goals and they managed to pull a goal back through substitute Jokceleny Fernandes Carvalho.
The man commonly known as ‘Iniesta’ beat Ghana goalkeeper Razak Abalora with a decent finish to make it 3-1 with seven minutes left on the clock.
However, the goal proved to be a mere consolation for Sao Tome and Principe as Ghana held on to their two-goal lead in the dying minutes of the game and ultimately, the Black Stars emerged 3-1 winners on the night.
Ghana (2) 3 (Opoku 12′, J.Ayew 31′, Rahman 60′)
Sao Tome and Principe (0) 1 (Iniesta 83′)
Ghana: Abalora, Annan, Rahman (Wriedt 70′), Opoku, Ganiyu, Wakaso (Blay 78′), Partey, Bukari (Awako 46), Kudus (Poku 78′), J. Ayew (Ibrahim 70′), A. Ayew.
Sao Tome and Principe: D’Almeida, Cardoso, Ivonaldo (Martins 46′), Lecy, Leal, Nazare, J.Neves, Nilton (A. Neves 80′), Vava, Viegas, Ze Carlos (Iniesta 66′).