The Black Stars of Ghana have booked their place at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, set to be hosted in Cameroon next year.
Ghana sealed their place after playing out a 1-1 draw against South Africa in Johannesburg in their penultimate Group C match on Thursday evening.
Bafana Bafana were the better side in the opening 45 minutes but were unlucky not to have registered on the scoresheet at the break.
The home side dominated the Black Stars at the FNB Stadium with Percy Tau running the show, however, goalkeeper Razak Abalora made two stunning saves to keep the visitors in the game.
Mubarak Wakaso and Afriyie Acquah struggled to keep up with the swift passing and pace of the South Africans in midfield while debutants Emmanuel Gyasi and Kwame Opoku produced nothing of note.
Ghana Coach C.K Akonnor reacted by withdrawing Kwame Opoku for Osman Bakari at half time and the team responded instantly after the recess.
Mohammed Kudus’s exquisite first touch took him away from his marker before slotting the ball home to put the Black Stars in front in the 49th minute.
The South Africans drew level three minutes after through talisman Percy Tau who got in behind Ghana’s defence to score his 4th goal of the qualifying campaign.
The game’s tempo slowed down after the quick start to the second half with both teams cautious not to concede again.
The visitors seemed more than happy to leave South Africa with a crucial point that has mathematically secured them a place at next year’s finals with a game to spare.
Ghana’s will face São Tomé and Principe in the final Group C Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday, March 28, 2021.
Here is how Black Stars players are rated against Bafana Bafana
Razak Abalora- 4
He managed to make an excellent stop in the first half. He could have done better about South Africa’s equalizer in the second half.
Abdul Baba Rahman-3
He offered little to the attacking potency of the team. However, he held his own at the back when called upon.
For a debutant, his performance could be labelled as average. Made some good forward passes but struggled to handle Percy Tau.
The Amiens center back misplaced his passes a few times and also struggled against South Africa’s danger man, Percy Tau.
Benson Anang- 3.5
The MSK Zilina right-back could have done better with his defensive work. He did however, assist Kudus with the opener.
Mubarak Wakaso- 3
He was chosen to lead the team in the absence of the three usual captains. The free agent did not make as much of an impact on both ends of the pitch.
The Yeni Malatyaspor man has been wayward with his passes so far. Also, he was subpar on both ends of the pitch.
Mohammed Kudus- 4.5
The Ajax man was one of the bright lights in the side. He tried to make things happen with his ball retention and dribbling. He was rewarded for his efforts with a goal.
Kwame Opoku- 2.5
The former Kotoko man was largely anonymous in this one and it was no surprise. He was deployed in the left wing, an unsuitable position for a player with his kind of skillset.
Emmanuel Gyasi- 3
The Spezia man tried to make things happen on the attacking end of the pitch. However, he had little support from his teammates.
The Trabzonspor man was also anonymous in the game. He had little service from his teammates throughout the game.
Osman Bukari- 1.5
The KAA Gent man had little impact after coming on for Kwame Opoku. He barely troubled his marker.
Emmanuel Lomotey- 1
His introduction did not bring the kind of impact as expected. He was anonymous after replacing Caleb Ekuban.
Emmanuel Boateng- N/A
He had little time to make any impact in the game.