Black Stars striker, Jordan Ayew, marked his return to the team with a brace as Kwasi Appiah’s charges beat Ethiopia 2-0 in Addis Ababa yesterday to enhance their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be staged in Cameroun.
The 27-year-old Crystal Palace marksman, together with his brother Andre Ayew, returned to the team for the first time since September last year after they failed to travel with the team to Congo for their return leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Jordan’s brace took his international tally to 14 goals in 51 appearances for Ghana after he last scored for the Black Stars during the Africa Cup of Nations match against DR Congo in Gabon at the 2017 AFCON.
It took the Swansea loanee just three minutes to break the deadlock when he was assisted by defender Harrison Afful with a long pass which he latched on from the right and led a solo run from the outside before side-footing the ball into the far side for the opening goal.
Playing against two forces — an opponent and a noisy home crowd at the Addis Ababa Sports Stadium, the Stars were poised for victory, having played two games less in their group following the cancellation of their two leg encounter with Sierra Leone due to government interference in local football.
Since they were lagging behind Kenya in the group league log, the Ghanaians came into the game poised for victory.
They got rewarded in the third minute of the exchanges with Ayew’s beautiful solo effort. The attacker made it two in the 24th minute through the spot.
A clever run by attacking midfielder Emmanuel Boateng into the area after skipper Andre Ayew released him saw Boateng being brought down in the 18-yard box by goalkeeper Mamo.
The resultant penalty kick saw Ayew calmly slotting it past the Ethiopia shot stopper to increase their lead and to score his second goal of the game.
Back from recess, the Ethiopians took the game by the scruff of the neck and launched an onslaught into the Stars area.
The incursion nearly fetched a goal for the Walias but Bekele and Yohanne’s interplay in the area was thwarted by Afful and John Boye.
The Ethiopians kept up the pressure and probed for a goal, perhaps a consolation goal, but the introduction of Afriyie Acquah in the 58th minute for Thomas Partey, attacker Owusu Ampomah in the 71st minute and Jonathan Mensah in the 87th minute strengthened the Black Stars team and thwarted the home side search for a goal.