Ghana maintained her one hundred percent record in the 2021 African Cup of Nations after defeating Sào Tomé 1-0.
Jordan Ayew’s second half penalty ensured the Black Stars maintained their one hundred percent record in a match played under extremely difficult pitch condition at the National Stadium of Sào Tomé on Monday, November 18.
Familiar with the conditions of their pitch, Sao Tome started the match confidently in the opening five minutes, but they soon recoiled as the Black Stars ceased control of the game.
Ghana’s first clear attempt on goal was in the tenth minute when Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey sent Jordan Ayew through on goal but the Sao Tome goalkeeper claimed the ball.
Moments later, the Sào Tome goalkeeper nearly caused his side the opener when he gifted the ball to Jordan Ayew, who found Samuel Owusu. Samuel’s shot was however blocked, and Emmanuel Boateng’s attempt to fire in the rebound was flagged offside by the assistant referee.
As the Black Stars continued to control the game and making incursions forward, the hosts also intensified their resilience at the back. This made it increasingly difficult for the Stars to penetrate.
Just before the half hour mark, Gideon Mensah sent a teasing one in and Andre Ayew’s header flew just off the bar.
And on the half hour mark, Ghana had a free kick from close range and Andre Ayews effort went over the bar.
The home side held the Stars until the end of the first half.
Ghana started the second half strongly and just five minutes into the second half, the Sao Tome goalkeeper brought down Emmanuel Boateng and the referee whistled for a penalty, which Jordan Ayew converted calmly for the opener.
The Stars pressed on for the second goal to seal victory, but pitch conditions continued to make it difficult for the Black Stars to control the game the way they wanted.
Ghana made its first substitution in the 64th minute. Mohammed Kudus, who scored on his debut against South Africa, replaced Emmanuel Boateng. And in the 72nd minute, Christopher Antwi-Adjei made his debut when he came on for Samuel Owusu.
The Black Stars lowered the tempo and brought in Joseph Attameh for Iddrissu Baba in the closing stages of the game. They held on to their slender advantage for their second successive win in the qualifiers in as many games to go top of the table.
Ghana line up:
Ofori, Yiadom, Mensah, Aidoo, Nuhu, Baba (Atameh) , A. Ayew, Partey, Owusu (Kudus), J. Ayew, Boatend (Antwi-Adjei).