Ghana Black Stars today cemented their hold of the top spot in their AFCON qualifying group when they beat Sao Tome and Principe 3 – 1 in Accra.
Coming into the match having already qualified after the draw in South Africa on Thursday, there was little to play for than pride. Their counterparts on the other hand were only playing a ceremonial as well, looking to redeem their pride having suffered five defeats in the group before today.
Ghana started strongly and played as if they needed the win to seal qualification. Threatening their opponents with serious incursions into the opponents box. With England based trio of Thomas Partey, Jordan and Andre Ayew returning to the fold, it was not expected to be an easy task for the The Falcons and True Parrots Team.
A hungry Ghana side lacked no assets in attack as defenders stole the show. Amiens centre back Nicholas Opoku scored his first goal for the Black Stars after rising highest to nod home a Mohammed Kudus corner in the 12th minute.
Jordan Ayew then had a penalty shout ignored in the 16th minute after he went down in the box under pressure from Vava Pequeno. That did not stop the Stars as they wanted to get the results expected of them by their coach who decided to field a strong side despite having qualified already.
Baba Rahman had the chance to increase Ghana’s tally but he however side netted to leave the score still at 1 – 0. Thomas Partey then followed suit but had his shot blocked to deny Ghana the chance to up their goals.
It was however not to remain same after Ajax midfield architect, Kudus Mohammed sent a through-ball in for Jordan who was brought down while he tried to connect with the ball. The striker picked himself up and coolly slotted the resulting penalty past Aldair D’Almeida to give Ghana a 2 goal lead.
Kudus Mohammed and Nicholas Opoku then had one more opportunity each to make it 3 – 0. The latter sent his header from a corner over the bar while the former had his shot saved by the goalkeeper.
Moments after recess,Wakasu Mubarak sent a shot from outside the box over. Gladson Awako in for Osman Bukari at half-time could not also direct Andre Ayew’s volley into the net.
Luís Leal threatened to reduce the deficit when he had an opportunity with a free kick. His long ranger however went wide.
Ghana then added their third and this time it was one who last week was vilified and his position in the team questioned on social media. Baba Rahman, the on-loan Chelsea player scored from close range after Kudus Mohammed again drove his way past the opposing defense and into the box to set him up. It was Baba’s first goal for the team after he debuted in 2014.
Jokceleny Fernandes Carvalho gave the visitors good energy to fight back when he intercepted Asante Kotoko goalie Razak Abalora’s pass from the back and slotted into an empty net. They could however not add to that as the game wore on.
Kwasi Okyere Wriedt who came on as a substitute failed to score after he was played one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Ghana’s efforts to get a goal in injury time proved futile and the visitors late pressure also yielded in no goal.