Ghana made it three wins from three with a 2-0 win over Sudan in their latest 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Cape Coast stadium on Thursday.
Andre Ayew was the hero as he scored two fine goals on his 91st appearance for the Black Stars but the Group C game was also overshadowed by a confrontation between Sudan coach Hubert Velud and a match official.
Swansea’s Ayew scored the opening goal in the 18th minute as he curled in a free kick from the edge of the D, with the goalkeeper left stranded.
Then in the 36th minute came the controversy as Sudan claimed a penalty as Ghana defender John Boye tangled with striker Abdel Rahman as he burst into the area.
When the penalty was waved away it incensed Frenchman Velud and he angrily confronted the assistant referee, who put his hand up to push the coach away resulting in him falling to the ground.
To add insult to injury Velud was shown a yellow card when he stood up.
On the stroke of half-time Ghana and Ayew had a second goal ruled out out when he was ruled to have committed a foul as he rose to head the ball into the net.
He eventually got his second with nine minutes left to play as he raced down the right wing before cutting inside and beating two players before lashing the ball just inside the post from the edge of the area.
Ghana are without midfielder Thomas Partey for the games against Sudan, as has stayed with his English club Arsenal to recover from a thigh injury he suffered in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Aston Villa.
The two teams meet again in Khartoum on Tuesday.
Ivory Coast v Madagascar
Ivory Coast got back to winning ways in the Nations Cup qualifiers as they edged past Madagascar 2-1 at the new Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.
Last time out the Elephants had suffered a surprise 2-1 loss in Ethiopia and they were made to work hard for this win in Group K
The start of the game was delayed by some heavy rain but when it got underway there was a debut for the former France youth international and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ defender Willy Boly.
Another France-born player, West Ham’s Sebastien Haller, made an impact on his debut as he scored what turned out to be the winner after coming on as a first-half substitute.
Haller stooped to head home a cross from Max Gradel shortly after Veteran forward Gervinho opened the scoring in the 48th minute as he pounced on the ball when the Madagascar defence failed to clear properly.
Madagascar, who reached the last 16 of the Nations Cup last year on their debut, had created several chances throughout the game and eventually pulled a goal back on the hour mark.
Egypt-based Paulin Voavy made the most of a missed tackle by Ivory Coast and Spurs’ defender Serge Aurier to put the ball past Sylvain Gbohouo, who will also feel he should have done better.
Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha was missing for Ivory Coast and posted on his social media: “I’ve got some family responsibilities that I’ve got to take care of, which means I won’t be there for the next two games but will be back next time around.”
The two sides meet again on Monday.
Uganda 1-0 South Sudan
Uganda edged closer to a third successive Africa Cup of Nations finals with a late win over neighbours South Sudan on Thursday.
The game in Kampala looked to be heading for a goalless draw until Halid Lwaliwa, who came on as a replacement for the injured Ronald Mukiibi, headed home a Farouk Miya free kick in the 86th minute.
Before that the best chance had fallen to Konyaspor’s Miya as he saw his shot hit the post in the 72nd minute.
One of South Sudan’s better chances came midway through the first-half from Makueth Wol, who plays in Uganda for Mbarara City, but his effort went wide.
The game also saw a Cranes debut for Elvis Bwomono who plays in the third tier of English football for Southend United, the 21-year-old defender was born in Uganda but moved to the United Kingdom as a child.
The result means Uganda have seven points from their opening three Group B games while South Sudan remain pointless.
The two will face each other again on Monday in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, in a game moved from Juba as the stadium there is being renovated.
Thursday’s results/fixtures (GMT/UTC):
- 13:00 Uganda 1-0 South Sudan (Grp B)
- 16:00 Cameroon 4-1 Mozambique (Grp F)
- 16:00 Cape Verde 0-0 Rwanda (Grp F)
- 16:00 Congo 2-0 Eswatini (Grp I)
- 16:00 Ghana 2-0 Sudan (Grp C)
- 16:00 Ivory Coast 2-1 Madagascar (Grp K)
- 16:00 Zambia 2-1 Botswana (Grp H)
- 19:00 Algeria v Zimbabwe (Grp H)
- 19:00 Burkina Faso v Malawi (Grp B)
- 19:00 Gabon v The Gambia (Grp D)
- Libya 2-3 Equatorial Guinea (Grp J)
- Guinea 1-0 Chad (Grp A)
- Kenya 1-1 Comoros (Grp G)
- Mauritania 1-1 Burundi (Grp E)
- Senegal 2-0 Guinea Bissau (Grp I)