The controversial Zambian flight has finally landed in Ghana; the talk shop is finally over; the botched training drama has also settled.
Now is the time for the real deal. In approximately one and half hours the battle to Brasilia will be on in Kumasi. The Black Stars of Ghana is poised for a third successive World Cup outing but has a controversial Zambia hard nut to crack.
The Chipolopolo are looking for their first ever World Cup outing and need all the spoils against Ghana to book a place in the play-offs.
Myjoyonline.com will bring you all the drama, the goals, the cards and the shouts and most certainly the cries. Who wins the bragging rights? The answer is just an hour away, stay tuned.
The Black Stars of Ghana today cleared the penultimate hurdle to make it to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as they struggled to humble the Chipolopolo boys of Zambia by two goals to one at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
The Stars needed a draw against the Zambians in today’s encounter but they managed to bag the full three points to maintain their lead and book the sole ticket in Group D, which had Zambia, Sudan and Lesotho.
Below is a summary account of the match
After 22 minutes
Ghana 1:0 Zambia
Waris wins a free-kick in a dangerous area around the 18-yard box. Wakaso steps up to take it and glides the ball dangerously over the top left bar.
Asamoah Gyan fouls a Zambian player in their opponent’s half. Game continues as both teams adopt direct play in an effort to find their forwards. Kwasi Appiah throws his hands desperately as Zambians struggle to put a ball into the net in the 18 yard area. He looks serious and is clad in a yellowish-green reflectors like a late-night traffic warden.
Fatau Dauda spills an efficient long range shot from a Chipolopolo midfielder – and rushes to catch the ball finally.
Andre Ayew skillfully fends off the ball just outside the Zambian box and wins a foul for Ghana.
Zambians keeping possession very well despite a goal down. Zambia’s Katongo drops deep to get passes to initiate attacks.
4:50pm Referee whistles for end of the first half.
Henrve Renard of Zambia makes changes to his line-up. He is now playing a three-man defence. He is throwing in more attacker as he goes in for the juggler.
Andre Ayew trades a delightful long pass to Daniel Opare in the Zambian left corner but he is unable to deliver a good pass into the penalty area.
A Zambian winger darts fearlessly on the left flank, simulates inside the penalty box as he loses the ball after being closed down by a defender.
Kwasi Appiah prepares to bring in Essien.
Daniel Opare picks up a yellow card on an infringement on a Zambian player. Essien enters into the fray to replace Rabiu Mohammed. Wakaso is replaced with Christian Atsu.
Asamoah Gyan is looking for a penalty after he loses the ball in the box. Referee is uninterested as Gyan is dispossessed.
The Ghanaian midfield is struggling to keep out a determined set of Chipolopolos. Zambians are putting pressure on the Black Stars whenever the Ghanaians have possession
Out of nowhere, Kwadwo Asamoah lunges into the Zambian center half, he is not closed down, lifts up his head and fires off a left-footed long shot beating Mweene to score a goal on the stoke of 60 minutes.
Ghana 2- Zambia 0
Another dangerous shot finds the side net of the Zambian goal post. Andre Ayew also darts into the penalty and fires across the goal.
Ghana is turning on the screws.
A Zambian attack begins and ends unsuccessfully as Ayew joins a defender to clear the ball in the right corner of the Ghanaian half.
John Boye is in distress and is carried off the pitch.
Zambians are relying on their wings to attack and the latest one wins them a corner. The ball is passed into the penalty box and Zambia’s Nicholas converts beautifully. Ghana 2- Zambia 1
Ghana’s Essien trades passes with Kwadwo Asamoah and Dede Ayew who back heels the ball into the Zambian penalty box in an attempt to find Waris but the keeper comes out to catch the ball.
Harrison Afful is shown a yellow card in the 72nd minute. Essien is brought down in the center circle for a foul; passes to Waris who is also brought down for a free-kick in the edge of the 18-yard box. Ayew ready to take it; futile low shot into the Zambian wall.
Agyeman Badu replaces Asamoah Gyan who gives the captain’s arm band to Essien. Zambia keeps trying long passes into the Ghanaian half, but it is often intercepted.
Ayew continues to threaten inside the Zambian left wing. But the Zambians defend well and build an attack into their opponent’s half. A dangerously possessive Zambians mess up a chance in the penalty area.
Agyeman Badu begins a counter attack passes the ball down to the right but Daniel Opare falls down before he could make use of the pass.
Dede Ayew is injured but medics see to him on the field to keep him on his feet.
4 minutes added on. Fatau Dauda is down after struggling to punch out a cross. He receives treatment on the field whiles Majid Waris takes instructions from Kwasi Appiah.
Fatau Dauda takes a long shot, finds Dede Ayew, gives it to Essien in the Zambian center-half.
Referee whistles for a foul against Ghana. Quickly taken by the Zambians. A cross into the penalty box gets the head of a Zambian who tries a last ditch header in the box,but is dealt with expertly by Dauda.
Referee whistles. Game is over. Chippopolo copper bullets have been defeated by an efficient Ghanaian performance.