Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu scored a forty-yard screamer to seal a 3-1 win for the Black Stars against their Congolese counterparts in a must-win game at the Baya Yara Sports Stadium infront of an enthusiastic Kumasi crowd Friday evening.
Defender Isaac Vorsah scored the opener in the second half whiles striker Prince Tagoe made it two only minutes after the opener to register a double over the Red Devils. The first leg ended 3:0 for the Black Stars.
Trusted Richard Kingson in goal for the Black Stars, uncharacteristically gave the Congolese a gleam of hope as they pulled one back before Agyemang Badu put the game beyond the Congolese.
The win which takes the Black Stars to 10 points and top of the table in the group started with the Black Stars midfielders hustling the goal area of the Congolese early in the game.
The Game started on a high as Sulley Muntari’s goal-bound shot in the 8th minute was saved by the Congolese keeper to deny Ghana the opener. Prince Tagoe blasted the rebound wide.
The tempo of the game dipped for a while but the Ghanaians kept the lion’s share of possession even though the Congolese outclassed them in the middle of the field.
Congolese midfielder Nganga Igor received the first yellow card of the evening after hauling to the ground enterprising Agyemang Badu who was ubiquitous all evening.
Essien, Tagoe and Kwadwo Asamoah all came close to breaking the deadlock but the resolute Congolese defenders made sure all the attacks came to nought.
The Ghanaian midfielders and attackers had a number of opportunities to punish the Congolese but poor timing and finishing ensured that they were wasted. The enthusiastic Kumasi fans grew more frustrated as the game progressed without a goal.
The second half started with a more purposeful play from the Ghanaians as they came out in droves to attack the Congolese goal area.
In one of such attacks, the Congolese captain Nikita saw a second yellow for a professional foul on Kwadwo Asamoah who was racing past him with the ball. This meant Congo had to play a greater part of the second half with ten men.
The Black Stars capitalized on the numerical advantage to pile the pressure on their opponents who were looking more and more worn out.
Ghana Coach Goran Stevanovic pulled out a tiring Kevin Prince Boateng and introduced Dominic Adiyiah in the 56th ostensibly to add some more bite to the attack. And boy did it pay off!
Then came Ghana’s first goal of the evening. Ghana won two successive corners from a quick one-two between Agyemang Badu and Michael Essien.
The first corner was wasted but the second one fell to defender Isaac Vorsah who scored his first international goal for the Black Stars. It was game on.
Dede Ayew was also introduced on the left wing to replace Muntari who was a pale shadow of usual self.
The substitution unleashed some life on the left wing as Dede Ayew forced the Congolese defenders to commit a number of blunders much to the excitement of the home fans.
Prince Tagoe, the striker who replaced suspended Asamoah Gyan headed home Ghana’s second goal from a corner kick to send the Kumasi fans into wild jubilation.
After the second goal, Ghana seemed to have lowered its guard as the Congolese made some incursions to the danger area of the Black Stars.
One such attacks paid off as goalkeeper Richard Kingson committed a howler to let in a goal for the Congolese after he failed to deal with a ball that bounced towards his post.
Kingson recently threatened to beat up a fan who hurled insults at him for letting in a soft goal at one of the Black Stars training sessions in Accra. The fan would feel vindicated by such an error from an experienced goalkeeper of Kingson’s caliber.
From then on, the supporters became hostile towards the former Blackpool goalkeeper who looked shaky all night.
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