Ghana put pressure on South Africa with Zimbabwe win; Togo and Congo draw
Ghana beat Zimbabwe 3-1 at the Cape Coast Stadium on Saturday to remain on the neck of South Africa in Group G of the qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The victory at home for the Black Stars takes them to six points, one behind leaders South Africa who had earlier beaten Ethiopia 3-1 in the other group fixture in Bahir Dar.
Mohamed Kudus had given the hosts a fifth minute lead before Knowledge Musona drew Zimbabwe level from the penalty spot in the second half. However, Thomas Partey and skipper Andre Ayew scored later to firm up the victory for the hosts.
Kudus broke the deadlock with a neat low finish inside the box after some quick change of passes. Kudus had another chance in the 19th minute with a shot from distance which flew straight to the keeper’s arms.
Kamal Deen Sulemana had the other close chance for Ghana with a shot that was deflected behind for a corner as the home side went to the break tails up by a goal.
Zimbabwe had a better start in the second half and were level four minutes after the restart when skipper Musona scored from the penalty spot.
They almost took the lead in the 53rd minute but Jordan Zemura saw his cracking shot denied by the crossbar.
After surviving the onslaught, Ghana took their chances and went 2-1 up after 66 minutes when some individual effort from Partey saw him find space inside the box before shooting past the keeper.
They cemented the lead three minutes from time when Ayew headed home from the edge of the six yard box off John Mensah’s cross.
Togo 1-1 Congo
Elsewhere at the Stade de Kegue in Lome, hosts Togo and Congo remained winless after playing to a 1-1 draw.
The visitors broke the deadlock after 21 minutes when Togolese midfielder Jacques-Alaixys Romao scored into his own net as he tried to cut out a cross from Ravy Tsouka Dozi.
Before that, both teams had chances to score with Togo’s Ihlas Bebou coming close with a shot on the half turn which was turned behind by a finger tip save from the keeper. Congo’s Gaius Makouta also had a chance with a shot that was deflected for a corner.
After going behind, Togo had a great chance to get back on level terms but Congolese keeper Christoffer Mafoumbi made a brilliant one handed save to deny David Henen’s well taken curling shot.
In the second half, the home side came back stronger and were level in the 56th minute through Meme Placca’s well placed shot inside the box.
Congo would have sneaked away with the victory in the final three minutes but Guy Mbenza saw his shot from inside the box come off the bar.