The Black Stars of Ghana on Tuesday evening secured a berth in the second round of 2019 AFCON with a 2-0 victory over fellow West African neighbors Guinea Bissau.
In what looked like a do or die affair, the four time AFCON champions came up on top with two goals in the second half to seal their place in the knockout round and also top their group in the process having scored more goals than fellow table toppers Cameroon who were held by Benin in the other group game.
In a game of few chances, the Stars huffed and puffed in an unconvincing first half display as both sides struck the wood work.
But Ghana came out blazing in the second half and took the lead with their first attack of the half. A ball was played down to the left side in the Guinean half and Jordan had it all to do. He breezed past his marker and smartly finished into the top corner to score his second goal of the tournament and his 17th goal for Ghana.
Guinea Bissau almost had an equalizer but Mendes Jo’s left footed strike struck the base of Ofori’s post. With the Guineas looking dangerous, Coach Kwesi Appiah pulled off a masterstroke of a substitution with Empoli midfielder Afriyie Acquah coming on for Kwabena Owusu. His introduction saw Partey move up to join the attack and gave Ghana a lot of stability and balance in midfield.
And that would prove to be the catalyst as the Stars scored their second after a brilliant hold up play from Captain Dede Ayew. His through ball found the marauding Baba Rahman and his cut back was tapped in by Partey to give Ghana a second goal which all but ended the game. It may not have been a very convincing performance but what was needed was a win and the Black Stars duly delivered with much credits to Coach Kwesi Appiah for that inspiring Afriyie Acquah substitution. Ghana now waits on results in Group E to know who they would be facing in their last 16 tie.
Writer: Qwesi Nabila Zakariah (@qwesi_nabila)