African Cup Of Nations – Group D
Ghana beat a Ugandan team by a single goal to nil in an absorbing clash in the first of the two Group D games.
Ayew scored from the penalty spot with the only goal of the game to ensure Ghana remain on course for the knockout stages.
He shot powerfully from the spot to the keepers right to grab all three points although Uganda will be buoyed by the fact they gave their all in a game where a draw for both teams would have been the right result. Still Ghana aren’t going to mind too much as they now prepare for their second game with three points on the board.
Avram Grant the Ghana manager has been on a stormy route with the team and the odds are that even if Grant does manage to get to the final or even win the tournament there is a ready made replacement waiting in the wings. The former Chelsea manager has not responded to this speculation in the same manner as when he took over from Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge all those years ago.
In the early phases of the match it was Ghana that came out attacking Uganda and although they had registered 5 shots within the first 25 minutes they lacked any real penetration. Uganda appeared as if keen to shut up shop but had to change their game plan when Ghana opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Isinde lost the ball just inside his own penalty area and realizing his mistake as the Ghana forward came hurtling in, he put his hands on the player bringing him down for a penalty. Isinde also got a deserved booking but it was a child-like error that ultimately Uganda would pay dearly for. Ayew neatly wrapped up the penalty and Ghana took a well-merited lead.
On 37 minutes the Ghanaian’s lost Baba Rahmman to injury and he was replaced by Acheampong but Ghana kept on in the same attacking vein as Atsu had a mazy run, cut inside and unleashed a shot saved by Onyango in the Ugandan Goal.
Minutes before half time Uganda at last had something to shout about in the humid heat wet conditions. Centre forward Miya taking the ball into the penalty area and unfurling a shot that hit the bottom of the post and into the side netting.
Uganda had another half chance in the dying seconds of the half but Isinde the man who gave away the penalty somehow managed to miss the ball completely from seven yards out following a gorgeous cross in from the left. Gyan then put in a fluffed header himself as the whistle blew for a half time cigarette and a glass of local beer, and that was just for the referee.
The FIFA rankings were looking spot on for the pair with Ghana currently 54th and Uganda 19 places below them in 73rd but it was Uganda who came out with a different agenda in the second half.
On 63 minutes Uganda had a shot from 25 yards that sizzled past the post and barely a minute afterwards Odhaya’s shot from 20 yards also flew past the post with keeper Razak looking on.
The Ugandan team continued to probe looking for that elusive goal to tie the proceedings and despite Massa’s free kick from 25 yards out that went flying over the bar and a chance for Miyo who produced a ridiculously weak shot. The air rifle beckoned for The Cranes and it surely wasn’t to be Uganda’s day.
Last chance of the day went to Ghana from Atsu again with a superb run and shot that was fabulously saved by Onyango and the save of the game.
Despite controlling large swathes of the game Ghana held on to go top of the group.