Superb Stars shred Pharoahs of Egypt

The Black Stars of Ghana tore the Pharoahs of Egypt into shreds with a 6-1 annihilation in a World Cup qualifying playoffs played in Kumasi, Ghana.

Captain Asamoah Gyan led by example scoring a brace, with Muntari, Warris, Atsu each getting on the score sheet.

An own goal from Wael Gomaa and Aboutrieka’s well converted penalty which was nothing more than a consolation crowned an embarrassing afternoon to the visitors.

Pundits had predicted fireworks when the two giants of African football were paired for the playoffs but it turned out to be an easy Tuesday afternoon stroll on the park for the West Africans who dominated every department of the game. The story could have been worse for the North Africans.

Gyan in less than a minute after the commencement of the game, had a good sight at goal but a kick on his weaker left foot meant  Sherif Ekramy would make an easy save.

Two minutes later Ekramy was called to duty again and this time had a knock on his right knee after colliding with Ghana’s diminutive striker Abdul Majeed Warris.

It was obvious at this point that Gomaa and Fathy in defence for the visitors could not match the pace and skill of Ghana’s striking duo of Gyan and Warris.

 Gyan made Ghana’s dominance count when he beat Gomaa and struck a perfect shot which took a ricochet at the side post before entering the net for Ghana’s opener in the 5th minute.

In the 14th minute Kwadwo Asamoah after a perfect one-two combination with Andre Ayew  cut open the Egyptian defence but with Ekramy at his mercy the Juventus midfielder shot wide.

Ekramy again came to the rescue of the Pharoahs with a superb finger tip save from a Warris goal bound header.

In the 21 minute the tattered Egyptian defence crumbled again with Gomaa scoring an own goal but all credit to Michael Essien who made a rampaging run from midfield, dummied two Egyptian defence men in the 18 yard box and in a brief goal mouth melee, Gomaa knocked the ball into his own net for Ghana’s second.

In the 33 minute the visitors came close to scoring but  Naguip in the six yard box, unchallenged, contrived to head a perfectly taken free-kick over the bar with  Fatau Dauda completely beaten.

Six minutes later the Egyptians were awarded a penalty after Rashid Sumaila heavily shoved  Mohammed Sallah in the vital area with the referee pointing to the spot. Veteran Aboutrieka stepped up and converted the penalty to give the visitors a temporary sigh of relief.

But their woes will soon be deepened again. Majeed Warris restored Ghana’s two goal lead with a header from close range to bring first half proceedings to an end.

The Stars continued from where they left off with Essien and Muntari controlling affairs in midfield with Gyan and Warris hounding the Pharoahs defence.

In the 53rd minute Gyan was again on the score sheet with a header from an acrobatic Sulley Muntari cross.

Gyan’s goal forced a substitution of the Egyptian goal keeper Sherif Ekramy who went out limping with a bandaged knee and four goals to worry about.

His replacement was soon in the line of fire. Hosny Abdrabou brought down Warris in the vital area for a Ghana penalty which was converted by Muntari who had been busy all afternoon with his superb tackles and incisive long surging passes.

Coach Akwasi Appiah brought on Christian Atsu, Agyeman Badu and Wakasu Mubarak for Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari and Dede Ayew and the subs quickly adapted to the tiki-taka style the Stars had been playing.

Atsu in a solo effort cut in from the right side of attack and struck low and hard beating Abdrabou for Ghana’s sixth goal.

Agyemang Badu could have gotten the seventh but his superb 30 yard shot was superbly parried away.

The Egyptians after such a heavy fall in Kumasi need at least five unanswered goals in the second leg before they can book a ticket to Brazil.