Saturday Oct 09, 2021. 20:27
Ghana have kept their 2022 World Cup Qualification hopes alive with a 3-1 home win over Group G rivals Zimbabwe at the Cape Coast Stadium on Saturday evening.
The result sees the Black Stars just one point behind group leaders South Africa (six points to seven), while Ethiopia are third on three points and the Warriors are bottom of the log with just the one point after three matchdays.
Ghana got off to a great start and claimed the lead just five minutes after kick-off, with Mohammed Kudus combining with Jordan Ayew on the edge of the box before scoring with a low shot which squeezed past Zimbabwe goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
Kudus should have claimed a second on 19 minutes after being given another great sight of goal, this this time his effort allowed Arubi to make a comfortable save.
Zimbabwe grew in confidence as the first half continued, with Knowledge Musona making a couple of notable forays in attack, but the visitors were soon given another warning when Kamaldeen Sulemana had the ball in the back of the net on 42 minutes, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
A goal down at the break, Zimbabwe started strongly in the second half and soon earned a penalty, with Alexander Djiku tripping up Knox Mutizwa. Musona then scored from the spot kick to make it 1-1 on 49 minutes.
Boosted by their equaliser, the Warriors almost scored again a few minutes later, but this time Mutizwa was denied by the woodwork after some poor defending from the hosts.
The Black Stars responded on the hour mark with a double change, as Iddrisu Baba Mohammed and Benjamin Tetteh entered the fray from the bench, with the latter almost immediately missing out on a great chance to put his team back in the lead.
The Black Stars would them reclaim the ascendancy on 66 minutes, with star midfielder Thomas Partey winning the ball high up the pitch before driving into the penalty area and firing a low shot past the right hand of Arubi.
Zimbabwe looked for a way back into the game for a second time, but their hopes were extinguished on 87 minutes when left-back Baba Rahman provided an inch-perfect cross for Andre Ayew to head home and seal a 3-1 victory.
The teams will meet in the reverse fixture at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Tuesday 12 October.
Ghana (1) 3 (Kudus 5’, Partey 66’, Ayew 87’)
Zimbabwe (0) 1 (Musona 49’ pen)
Ghana: Wollacott, Amartey, Djiku, Mensah, Rahman, Fataw (I. Mohammed 60’), Partey, A. Ayew (Owusu 90+2’), Kudus (Yeboah 90+2’), Sulemana (Kyereh 79’), J. Ayew (Tetteh 60’)
Zimbabwe: Arubi, Zemura (Kangwa 74’), Darikwa, Bhasera, Madzongwe, Munetsi (Madhanga 83’), Nakamba (Hadebe 74’), Kamusoko, Chikwende (Mahachi 83’), Musona, Mutizwa (Dzvukamanja 86’)