Ghana’s Black Galaxies recorded an impressive first-leg triumph over cross-border neighbours Benin in the 2023 CHAN Qualifiers at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Annor Walker jubilated wildly from the touchline as his side totally outclassed the Squirrels who caused little problems for the hosts.
It was a victory well fashioned out by Hearts of Oak players as 3 out of the 4 starters got onto the score sheet.
While the visitors struggled to break down a well-composed Ghana backline consisting of Imoro Ibrahim, Augustine Randoph, Konadu Yiadom, and Mohammed Alhassan – Afriyie Barnieh, Evans Osei-Wusu, and Jonah Attuquaye worked tirelessly all afternoon.
Comprehensive win for Ghana’s Black Galaxies. WATCH
Daniel Afriyie Barnieh , Mohammed Alhassan and Gladson Awako .
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Benin’s goalkeeper pulled an outstanding save around the 14th minute to deny Afriyie Barnieh from scoring a sensational finish from 25 yards out after the Hearts of Oak talisman had been fed by Osei-Wusu.
Ghana sustained the pressure on the yellow-jerseyed and on the 25th-minute mark, Barnieh won a penalty for the hosts after his effort came off the hand of a Benin defender inside the box.
The former Ghana U20 captain converted the kick to give Ghana the lead. The center referee denied Ghana what was a legitimate goal after a series of replays failed to indicate any incident inside the box. Attuquaye had fired home from an Osei-Wusu assist inside the 34th minute.
Ghana duly increased the tally three minutes after the interval as the Benin defence failed to deal with a corner kick, leaving Hearts of Oak defender Mohammed Alhassan with an inviting ball which he slammed home to cushion the lead.
On the 80th minute mark, Gladson Awako scored a breathtaking goal to seal the win for Ghana and somewhat firmly put the tie beyond the visitors ahead of the second leg.