Ghana has qualified for the 2024 AFCON after defeating the Central African Republic at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium today, September 7, 2023.
Both teams came into the game hoping to qualify, with Ghana needing a draw or a win and the Central African Republic needing a win to ensure their participation in next year’s tournament in Côte d’Ivoire.
Ghana started the game dominating possession as expected, but without creating any clear-cut chances.
A cross over the top of the Black Stars’ defense caused Lawrence Ati Zigi to come off his line, but the Ghanaian goalkeeper failed to get the ball, leaving a gaping goal for Louis Mafouta to tuck in the first goal of the game on the 25th-minute mark.
The Black Stars kept seeing more of the ball after going down, but struggled to create clear scoring opportunities.
However, Mohammed Kudus took matters into his own hands on the stroke of halftime, converting a direct free kick after Osman Bukari was fouled in the Central African Republic’s defensive half.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first, with Ghana dominating proceedings but failing to find the cutting edge.
Antoine Semenyo, Ernest Nuamah, and Gideon Mensah were introduced as the game progressed in Ghana’s bid to secure a win, which eventually paid off.
Semenyo and Nuamah combined after the former pounced on a defensive error to set up the Lyon man to slot home the winner in the 87th minute.
The result means that Ghana topped the group with 12 points, while Angola came second with 9 points after they drew goalless with Madagascar in Luanda.
The top two teams in the group qualify for the 2023 AFCON, which will be played in Côte d’Ivoire in January 2024.