Richmond Boakye-Yiadom and Thomas Partey combined to score all goals as Ghana ran rampant in 5-1 win away to Congo in a 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
The Black Stars rediscovered the urgency lacked in last Friday’s 1-1 stalemate which dimmed their chances of qualifying for the Russia tournament.
Midfielder Partey registered a hat-trick at the Stade Municipal de Kintélé to make it four in two matches against the Red Devils with Boakye-Yiadom grabbing a double for the three-time World Cup campaigners. Vladis-Emmerson Illoy-Ayyet scored Congo’s consolation goal.
Congo’s Red Devils looked fired up for victory in the early stages as they bombarded Ghana with back-to-back attacks.
Striker Thievy Bifouma and Césaire Gandzé successively tested Richard Ofori in the 10th minute, but on both occasions the goalkeeper was well positioned to deny the hosts.
But it was Ghana who would take the lead. Boakye-Yiadom who made a return to the national team after a long time out, scored the game’s opener in the 23rd minute as the Serbia-based forward was left with the easiest of finishes after the ball landed fortuitously at his feet in the penalty area.
The Black Stars doubled their lead three minutes later through Partey. A carbon-copy of the first goal, the Atletico Madrid man powered home after Boakye’s deflected effort fell into his path.
Illoy-Ayyet pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 43rd minute. Unmarked at a corner-kick, the towering defender pounced to guide his header into the back of the net.
Congo’s joy, though, was short-lived as Partey restored Ghana’s two-goal lead in the second minute of added time. The midfielder guiding his shot past Barel Mouko from an acute angle following a pin-point through ball by Christian Atsu.
The Red Devils tried desperately to find a way back into the game following the interval, but suffered a sucker punch in the 69th minute as Partey completed his treble. The burly playmaker charged through the heart of the Congolese defence before firing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts as Boakye-Yiadom completed his brace 5 minutes from time. Skipper on the day Harrison Afful’s lung-busting run down the right flank was rewarded with a composed finish by the Red Star Belgrade marksman.
The victory moves the Black Stars within touching distance of Group E rivals Egypt and Uganda who go head-to-head in Alexandria later this evening.
FT: Congo 1-5 Ghana …Goals: [43’ Illoy-Ayyet; 23′ 85′ Boakye-Yiadom, 26′ 45+2′ 69′ Thomas Partey]
Congo: Mouko – Dikamona/34’ Kifoueti, Mayembo, Illoy-Ayyet/46’ Oniangue, Badila – Gandzé, Avounou, Bahamboula – Nguessi/59’ Tchibota, Bifouma, Doré
Ghana: Richard Ofori – Harrison Afful, Lumor Agbenyenu/68’ Jeffrey Schlupp, Daniel Amartey, Jonathan Mensah – Afriyie Acquah, Thomas Partey/78’ Edwin Gyasi, Ebenezer Ofori/56’ Alfred Duncan – Christian Atsu, Richmond Boakye-Yiadon, Thomas Agyepong