The Black Stars continued their 100% winning record in Group H of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with a 3-1 victory against Mozambique in Accra Thursday.
Ghana opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute through in-form winger Frank Acheampong. The RSC Anderlecht attacker was set through by a sweet Majeed Waris pass, raced into the penalty area before expertly hitting the ball past Mamabas goalkeeper Soares Soares for the opener.
The Black Stars struggled for rhythm most of the half and ended the first half with the one goal margin.
Goal scorer Acheampong picked up a knock at the tail end of the first 45 minutes. He could not return, giving Leicester City’s Jeffrey Schlupp a chance to enjoy 45 minutes game time.
Stand-in captain John Boye soon scored to double the lead after a scrappy melee in the 55th minute. The centre-back was at the end of a corner attempt which got parried away by Mozambique gialie Soares. Atsu brilliantly chipped a shot towards goal with Boye seemingly having his arm touch the ball into the net.
Ghana upped their tempo and produced a more delectable display in the second half. In one of such quick moves saw Jordan Ayew out running his markers to feed on a Wakaso through pass before delivering an exquisite lob over an onrushing Soares – 3-0 on the 57th minute.
Mozambique however caught the Ghana defense sleeping as substitute Apson Manjate out jumped Harrison Afful to head home from a cross by captain Eliase Pelembe on 67 minutes.
Coach Avram Grant after overseeing his side cruise to a 3-1 victory is left with injury worries. All of Ghana’s substitutions were forced by injuries to Acheampomg, Boye and Wakaso while winger Atsu was forced to play through the pain barrier till the final whistle after picking up a knock on his knee.
Grant will hope to have his men fully recover f9r the reverse fixture in Maputo on Sunday.
The Black Stars who top the Group H table with nine points from three games are scheduled to leave Accra for the game Friday morning.
Ghana XI v. Mozambique: Razak Brimah – Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye/Daniel Amartey – Afriyie Acquah, Christian Atsu, Mubarak Wakaso/Emmaniel Agyemang Badu, Frank Acheampong/Jeffrey Schlupp – Abdul Majeed Waris, Jordan Ayew
Mozambique XI v. Ghana: Soares Soares – Clesio Bauque, Zainadine Junior, Simao Mate Junior, Edwardo Jumisse, Eliase Pelembe, Edmilson Dove, Helder Pelembe, Jeremias Tembe, Reinildo Mandava, Joao Mussica