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Kudus and Tau trade second-half strikes in AFCON qualifying as Ghana draw Bafana Bafana in Durban

In an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between teams weakened due to unavailable stars, Ghana and South Africa played out a hard fought 1-1 draw on Thursday in Durban. Both teams remain tied on points at the top of Group C, but with Sudan lurking close behind will need to secure positive results in their final games to seal qualification.

Both teams knew there was plenty at stake but the football was positive throughout the match. Bafana Bafana in particular came out firing at home in an attempt to clinch qualification with three points, dominating the early exchanges with focused attacks. However, right wing player Thapelo Morena missed a couple of guilt-edged opportunities that had South Africa fans holding their heads.

The action and goals picked up after the break. Ghana held out well to keep the match scoreless going into the second half and a brilliant moment of individual play from Ajax player Mohamed Kudus gave the Black Stars the lead. Just after 48 minutes an enterprising run by young Ghanaian right-back Benson Anang led to his pass inside to Kudus. Kudus’ sublime first touch took the ball by South Africa defender Siyanda Xulu before the playmaker put a shot off the far post and in with the outside of his boot.

However, South Africa forward Percy Tau was not to be outdone and grabbed an important equalizer for Bafana Bafana soon after the opener. Striker Ruzaigh Gamildien drew a couple of Black Star defenders before passing out to Tau on the wing, where the Brighton and Hove Albion player calmly slotted his shot off the post and in past Nicholas Opoku and goalkeeper Razak Abalora.

The 1-1 full time result was an appropriate result as Ghana showed resilience, but South Africa will regret that they were not able to obtain a lead by halftime with excellent chances. South Africa now have to obtain a draw or victory in Sudan, a difficult task. Ghana need to take care of business against Sao Tome and Principe but are in a good position to book their AFCON ticket. Extended highlights of the match are below.


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