Ghana qualify for yet another CAN finals
Ghana booked themselves a place at CAN 2013 with a workmanlike performance against Malawi in Lilongwe. With Ghana leading 2-0 from the first leg they were overwhelming favourites to go through but they were made to work for their win with the only goal of the game coming from Afriyie Acquah on his international debut.
Ghana started the game very well taking just three minutes to get into the lead after the Parma midfielder applied the finish to a well-worked short corner from Andre Ayew. Ghana went on to control the rest of the early stages of the first half, but had to rely on Adam Kwarasey’s reflexes to prevent being pegged back.
Both teams then went through a period where they threatened the goalkeepers with dangerous efforts. Asamoah Gyan was presented with a number of chances to double the lead first from a free kick which the goalkeeper did well to get to before he failed to connect with a well-placed Ayew cross as the Black Stars went into half time with a one goal lead. Christian Atsu also had an effort on the Malawi goal which was comfortably saved.
The second half almost started like the first with Ghana seemingly in control but Atsu could not get his effort on target after getting past a couple of players. It took some good positional awareness from defender Isaac Vorsah; however, to prevent the Flames from going in front as he diverted a goal bound header wide before John Boye made the clearance.
Malawi continued to rally but the Black Stars saw out the game to book a place in South Africa for the 2013 African Cup of Nations. Overall Ghana should be pleased in the manner of the qualification which has seen the emergence of two players (Christian Atsu & Afriye Acquah) tipped for great things. No doubt Ghana will be amongst the favourites for the competition in South Africa but will need to learn from mistakes of earlier this year, when again tipped for glory they crashed out at the semi-finals to eventual winner Zambia. Here we go again!
Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@KwesiTheAuthor)