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2023 AFCON Qualifying: Ghana survives early scare to qualify

Ghana and Angola have confirmed their spots at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast after finishing up play in qualifying on Thursday. Ghana overcame a first half concession to defeat upstarts Central African Republic by a 2-1 score at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi to emerge as the winners of Group E. The Black Stars are joined by Angola who qualified following a 0-0 draw at home to last placed Madagascar.

Central African Republic continue to display improvement on the African stage and Les Fauves gave Ghanaian supporters quite a scare. In the 25th minute the Baba Yara Stadium was silenced after an excellent pass from midfield by Central African Republic midfielder Amos Youga found Louis Mafouta who rounded onrushing Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi before finishing to give the visitors a shock lead.

Ghana finally found their stride after a sluggish start and it was star playmaker Mohammed Kudus who equalized soon before halftime with a well placed free kick from nineteen yards out. The hosts generally controlled play in the second half and late on Antoine Semenyo won the ball from a Central African Republic defender before setting up fellow substitute Ernest Nuamah to tap in the match winner.

Kudus and Nuamah’s goals came as a relief to Angola who struggled mightily at home against a Madagascar side with little to play for. The Palancas Negras failed to impose themselves against the Barea who produced a credible performance while holding the hosts for only their third point from six matches. However, Angolan supporters were relieved to see Ghana win since a Black Stars defeat would have seen Central African Republic qualify at the expense of the Angolans.

Highlights from Ghana’s victory are below.

Ghana 2-1 Central African Republic

Angola 0-0 Madagascar

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