The Black Stars defeated the Mambas 3-1 in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying first leg at the Accra Sports Stadium on Thursday
Ghana edged closer to booking their place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday after handing Mozambique a 3-1 drubbing in the first leg of the double header played at the Accra Sports Stadium, with goals from Frank Acheampong, John Boye and Jordan Ayew.
The Black Stars started brightly and didn’t have to wait for a long time to take the lead, after Lorient striker Majeed Waris, who started in place of injured captain Asamoah Gyan, combined with Anderletch midfielder Frank Acheampong to impress down the left. It was one of their moves that led to the opener by the fifth minute.
Acheampong latched onto a through pass from Waris and perfectly slotted his effort past onrushing Mozambique goalkeeper Soares Vitor Soarito.
Avram Grant’s side continued to dominate, although the visitors, who had fallen to Rwanda and Mauritius in the qualification campaign, did test Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah through a long-range drive powered by skipper Elias Pelembe.
Pelembe wasted a well-placed free-kick in the 26 th minute when he was brought down on the edge of Ghana’s penalty area by Harrison Afful.
Acheampong did not return from the break due to injury and was replaced by Leicester City man Jeffery Schlupp, as Ghana continued on the ascendancy, with Waris and Atsu spearheading the attack.
The hosts claimed their second goal in the 56 th minute through skipper John Boye , who found the target from a goalmouth scramble that broke out after a strike from Schlupp was headed back into play from the goal-line by a Mozambique defender.
Although, the ball appeared to have been handled by Boye, the referee awarded the goal despite protests from the visitors.
Two minutes later, Ghana were leading 3-0 thanks to Aston Villa striker Jordan Ayew , who linked up with a long pass from Christian Atsu before sending a lob over the goalkeeper.
Mozambique’s consolation came by the 67 th minute when Pelembe set up Bravos do Maquis FC striker Apson Manjate Sonito , whose close-range header floated into the top-right corner of Ghana post to alter the scoreline to 3-1.
Waris, Schlupp and Badu, who replaced Wakaso Mubarak, all came close on several occasions to improve Ghana’s lead but fluffed the chances.
Ghana, who will play Mozambique in the second leg on Sunday in Maputo, now lead Group H with nine points after three games, six points above Rwanda and Lesotho.