Ghana’s Black Stars yesterday secured qualification to the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations tournament slated for Cameroun. Mohammed Kudus’ goal just after recess broke the deadlock and minutes later, Percy Tau cancelled the lead to give his side a slim chance of making it to the competition.
It was Ghana’s ninth straight qualification and 23rd appearance to the continent’s flagship competition. The match at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg was not a high quality match as Coach Charles Akonnor’s second string side rarely created scoring chances in the first half. The Black Stars were unable to string passes together or even threaten the South African goal area except for some deft touches from midfielder Kudu.
Themba Zwane had another opportunity to put his side in front but his effort hit the side of the net after five minutes but missed a chance to put the hosts in front. Ghana’s play lacked creativity and for most part of first half, they were unwilling to threaten South Africa’s goal area.
South Africa came in strongly after the goal and forced the Black Stars into some desperate defending. Tau was put through on the right flank by Gamildien, and the skilful forward burst into Ghana’s penalty box to fire the ball past goalkeeper Razak Abalora. A minute later, Kudus was on the offensive after a wild run but his ambitious 25-yard shot missed the target narrowly. Ghana’s defensive frailty was once again exposed by the South Africans when a combination of Tau and Rivaldo Coetzee located Luther Singh but he fluffed the effort from a close range. As the clock ticked towards the end the match, the hosts pressed hard to find the winning goal but the Stars defence marshalled by Nicholas Opoku and Ismail Ganiyu managed to keep them at bay until the game came to an end.