Despite the 2-1 scorelines in favour of the Black Stars of Ghana, the sweat to that advantage and the fact that a near equalizer was denied, diminished their stature before a disciplined Central Africa Republic side.
To be exact, the visitors drew the first blood within a quarter of an hour, bemusing not only team Ghana but the partisan home crowd at the Kumasi sports stadium.
The pressure fell squarely on the shoulders of Mohammed Kudus who had by this time established his dominance upfront and looked most likely to return salvo. With only a slight edge in midfield and 50-50 balls, the Black Stars struggled somehow to sweep on the grit created by opponents.
The signs pointed to a low-scoring game in the face of the viciously fought battle towards the end of the first half. It took a well-directed free kick by Kudus to hit the net. Surprisingly, the high lob beat the tall goalkeeper of CAR.
The second half was not a giveaway either. Ghana scored, and came on top. CAR showed up as even more confident and also fired past the Ghana goalie. It was however ruled against, putting them in a very tight corner in the group qualifications for AFCON 2025.