A first half penalty goal from Andre Ayew was enough for Ghana to start their 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2017) campaign with a 1-0 win over Uganda in their Group D opener here Tuesday.
West Ham United winger Ayew kept his nerves to score what proved to be the game’s only goal from the spot after 32 minutes. The Black Stars took an early lead in the group, as Mali held Egypt to a scoreless draw in a later Group D encounter at the same venue.
Uganda, returning to the continent’s flagship soccer tournament after a 39-year absence, started the game on a high note, and Tony Maweje saw his long-range effort causing no problem to Ghana’s goalkeeper, Razak Brimah.
But Ghana gained the upper hand soon after, with winger Christian Atsu being the master of his side’s speedy attacks. Atsu provided Andre Ayew, his brother Jordan and captain Asamoah Gyan with numerous crosses which all failed to produce a goal.
The West Africans’ best chance fell to the Ayew brothers, when Jordan beat his marker to find Andre, but the latter’s shot was stopped by Denis Onyango between the Uganda posts.
After 31 minutes, Atsu passed to Gyan who was fouled inside the area by Isaac Insinde, and from the spot Andre Ayew made no mistake.
The second half was a different story as Uganda shook off their first half performance to threaten Ghana’s defence more than once. Maweje, Farouk Miya and captain Geofrey Masa all tried their luck but missed the clinical touch.
And the last word was to be Atsu’s once again, as the winger weaved past his marker to strike, only for Onyango to make the save five minutes from time.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK