2021 AFCON qualifiers: Black Stars nail Bafana Bafana

Author: Peter Sarbah, CAPE COAST
Thomas Partey being congratulated by his teammates after scoring the opener for Ghana
Thomas Partey being congratulated by his teammates after scoring the opener for Ghana

Black Stars of Ghana begun the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign on a bright note after beating the Bafana Bafana of South Africa 2-0 at the Cape Coast Stadium yesterday.

 
A superb strike by Thomas Partye in the 35th minute and a sublime finish by substitute Mohammed Kudus in the 78th minute ensure Ghana achieved their fourth win over their guest in their last 11 outings.
 
Ghana's first attempt at goal came in the fifth minute when Emmanuel Boateng was fouled at the edge of the box for Thomas Partey to deliver a perfect free-kick which found the head of Boateng but could not beat goalkeeper,Ronwen William in post for the Bafana Bafana.
 
By the 8th minute the Black Stars had begun to mount pressure with Jordan Ayew exciting the crowd with some brilliant touches which earned him another free-kick but Coach Kwasi Appiah's charges failed utilised the opportunity.
 
Just when Ghana appeared to be in control of affairs a defensive blunder on the part of Gideon Mensah twice gifted the visitors a free-kick 20 yards from the box but Bradley Grobler's effort went over the crossbar.
 
Unfortunately Coach Molefi Ntseki was dealt a major blow as he was forced to make a quick substitution in the 28th minute when he replaced injured Bognani Zungu for Tmapelo Morena.
 
Ghana's breakthrough came in the 35th minute when  Partey's pile drive from 25 yards beat goalkeeper, William. It was a brilliant move which started from Andre Ayew who connected with Jordan Ayew to set up the unmarked Athletico Madrid star to rifle home and spark a wild jubilation from the partisan crowd.
 
The visitors would soon crack open the Ghana defence forcing the Black Stars into some desperate defending and keeping the fans on the edge of their seats until Richard Ofori saved the situation in the 44th minute when Thembinko Williams unleashed a volley from a lose ball.
 
Two minutes into the second half Ghana could have found the needed cushioning as  Boateng profited from a lose aerial ball in the box but just as he was about to pull the trigger the ball was nibbed off his toes.
 
In the 58th minute Ghana started a sweet build up from midfield with Jordan and Boateng exchanged passes before the Crystal Palace arrowhead saw his curled effort rolled past the cross bar.
 
Coach Appiah reshuffled his tactics in the 61st minute when he took off Alfred Duncan who had a quiet night for Mohammed Kudus who made his presence felt with a beautiful goal in the 78th minute having dispossessed  his South Africa marker to make a solo surge into the box to strike home.
 
The South Africans barely threatened Ghana's goal in the second half except for Kermit Erasmus and Grobler who gave the Stars defense a difficult time.
 
Partey who had been the commander in chief of the midfield orchestra continued to supply the attacker and found Jordan who managed to dummy into the box but could not find the target.