Andre Ayew’s brace inspires Ghana to victory against Sudan
Andre Ayew stood out as the hero for Ghana as they defeated Sudan 2-0 on matchday three of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers on Thursday evening.
The Black Stars skipper scored in each half to ensure that coach Charles Akonnor won his first competitive game as Ghana coach.
Ayew curled a free-kick into the top corner to open the scoring almost halfway through the first half. The 30-year-old went on to double his tally after a brilliant individual effort as he beat three players before curling the ball into the net.
Sudan would be disappointed they failed to get on the scoresheet but have themselves to blame because they were profligate. They had moments in the game but failed to capitalise due to bad decision making in front of goal.
Black Stars remain top of Group C with 9 points after playing three games. They are six points ahead of second-placed South Africa, who host Sao Tome and Principe on Friday.
After a slow start, the four-time AFCON winners found the breakthrough in the 19th-minute courtesy Swansea City vice-captain. Ayew expertly converted a direct free-kick from just outside the area after the ball struck the hand of Sudanese defender.
The Black Stars created a number of opportunities afterwards but were unable to find the net. Samuel Owusu, in particular, failed to beat goalkeeper Ali Eshrein.
Before halftime, Sudan had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee, sparking an angry reaction from their coach Hubert Velud. The French trainer received a yellow card for challenging the officials.
Andre headed one in before the end of the half but his goal was ruled out for an apparent foul.
Sudan started the second half well, controlling the game in the first 15 minutes and looked likely to score but Ghana took charge and were duly rewarded with the second goal.
With 10 minutes to end proceedings, Andre showed brilliant skill to glide past three players to curl his effort past the outstretched arm of the Sudan keeper.
Akonnor’s side next assignment is on November 17 against Sudan in Khartoum. Black Stars will all but secure qualification to the tournament if they beat Falcons of Jediane.