Ghana’s heroic performance overshadowed Egypt

Ghana’s brilliant display against Egypt produced a seven-goal thriller, which resulted in the best game thus far in the continental qualifications of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

These two African giants resumed their rivalry with the hope of being one of the five teams that will fly to Brazil next year.

The Black stars played host to the Pharaohs in the first-leg of World Cup qualifiers at a packed Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi on Tuesday. Ghana showed their intentions as early as five minutes as captain and striker Asamoah Gyan led from the front and grabbed an opener for his side.

The quarter-finalists in the 2010 FIFA World Cup effortlessly proved to be too strong to contain for the Egyptians. With the fine football they displayed, the men in white extended their lead in the 26th minute through an own goal from Wael Gomaa, who cleared the ball to his own net.

The Egyptians were not going to be outplayed at an early stage of the match as they started to pick up some momentum and applied pressure to the hosts. Mohammad Abou Triker’s penalty was the only goal from Bob Bradley’s men. Moments later, the Black Stars gained their lead through a header from Abdul Majeed Waris from a free kick. Ghana players celebrate after a goal from Sulley Muntari.
Ghana players celebrate after a goal from Sulley Muntari.

The game went to the interval with the score-line reading, Ghana 3 and Egypt 1.

The second half kicked off with a lot of pace with both teams throwing all they had at each other, but once again, it was the home side who won the battle. Gyan increased Ghana’s dominance by scoring in the 54th minute. From there onwards, it was one-way traffic as Ghana continued to pile on the pressure.

Egypt’s defence was erratic and as a result they conceded a penalty, which Ghanaian midfielder, Sulley Muntari converted.

Kwesi Appiah’s charges completed their hammering after super-sub Cristian Atsu came on with only three minutes left before time to score a goal.

Ghana was unbeaten in 12 home games before they humiliated Egypt. The big challenge for Egypt now is to score five goals and not concede at home when these two face each other in the return leg next month, which is a big mountain to climb.

However, the venue for the second leg fixture is doubtful as FIFA are likely to move the November 19 match to a neutral stadium should the Egyptian Football association (EFA) fail to improve its security in Cairo by the 28October.

In other World Cup qualification matches: Nigeria beat Ethiopia 2-1 away, Senegal were stunned 3-0 by Ivory Cost, Cameroon played to a goalless draw to Tunisia and Burkina Faso escaped by the skin-of-the-teeth with a 3-2 victory over Algeria.

The second leg fixtures of World Cup qualifiers takes place between 16 and 19 of next month.

Siyavuya Mzantsi


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