Ghana’s Black Galaxies have taken a first-leg advantage from their 2023 Championship of African Nations qualifiers after victory over Benin in Cape Coast.
Goals from Hearts of Oak trio Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, Mohammed Alhassan and Gladson Awako ensured the Black Galaxies travel to Cotonou in a fortnight time knowing a draw or defeat with a minimum of two goal sees them through to the next stage.
Few minutes later, winger Evans Osei Wusu’s cross into the box hit the hand of a Benin defender, with the referee rightly calling for a penalty. Afriyie Barnieh elected himself for spot kick, and he perfectly converted, sending the Benin goalkeeper the wrong way.
The Black Galaxies thought they had doubled their lead on the half hour mark but the referee whistled Jonah Attuquaye’s goal for an offside.
Ghana went into the interval with the slim lead, but returned from the break more energized and determined. Four minutes into the second half, Hearts of Oak defender smashed home for the second after Imoro Ibrahim’s corner took a slight deflection in the box.
The Black Galaxies with the two goal advantage continued to dominate, but Benin had their chances with danger-man Amuzu coming close.
However, with ten minutes left, second half substitute Umar Bashiru, who replaced Seidu Suraj, weaved in a perfect pass to captain Gladson Awako, who magnificently curled home for the third.
Daniel Afriyie Barnieh should have made it four with only the goalkeeper to beat but the striker miss kicked the ball. Ghana travels to Benin a two weeks time for the second leg in Cotonou.
Ghana pockets $50,000 after finishing third at Kirin Cup Earlier, Sports Brief reported that four times African champions, Ghana, finished third in the just ended Kirin Cup tournament in Japan.
The Black Stars beat Chile on penalties on Tuesday morning to walk home with an amount of $50,000. In photos posted on social media, spotted by Sports Brief, Ghana were presented a cheque of $50,000 after the game.