Goals from Thomas Partey and Mohammed Kudus handed Ghana a 2-0 win over Bafana Bafana in their opening game of Afcon 2021 qualifying at the Cape Coast Stadium on Thursday evening.
Bafana came into the game looking to get their qualification campaign off to a good start in what was coach Molefi Ntseki’s first competitive game in charge.
The South Africans made a decent start to the game as they looked to find a way to contain the dangerous Ghanaian frontline while also searching for an attacking rhythm.
The visitors were the first team to have a clear chance on goal as Percy Tau’s freekick was deflected into the path of Bradly Grobler, but with the SuperSport United striker just six yards out with the goal gaping he managed to sky his shot over the cross bar with 16 minutes gone.
Bafana then suffered a major blow as Bongani Zungu was forced off through injury with Thapelo Morena coming on in his place.
Zungu’s departure saw spaces open up in the midfield and Thomas Partey took advantage of the freedom as he drove forward and let fly from range, his shot caught goalkeeper Ronwen Williams flat-footed and the ball rolled into the bottom corner with 35 minutes gone.
Bafana responded well as they look to press the Black Stars high up the pitch and it almost came off on the stroke of half time as Morena was slipped in down the right flank but his shot was well smothered by Richard Ofori in the Ghana goal.
The home side came out looking to impose themselves on the visitors with Bafana struggling to get possession of the ball and were being pushed back by the Ghanaians.
Ntseki looked to the bench as he brought on Lebo Mothiba and Kermit Erasmus but the South Africans were struggling to make any headway in the second half.
Ghana then wrapped the three points with 10 minutes to play as Kudus Mohammed dispossessed Thami Mkhize before driving forward and smashing his shot into the top right-hand corner.
Ghana 2-0 winners on the night and start their qualification campaign with three points, while Bafana will now need to bounce back against Sudan on Sunday.
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