The Black Stars of Ghana sailed through to the next round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after a hard fought 2-0 victory over Comoros on Tuesday, November 17, at the Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi.
Goals from Mubarak Wakaso and Jordan Ayew in the 17 and 84 minutes respectively were enough to see Ghana qualify at the expense of a ten-man Comoros Island team.
The gracefulness and confidence with which Wakaso brushed aside well established senior colleagues and equally good dead-ball kickers like Agyeman Badu, Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan among others to drive home a welcome goal that the team needed coupled with some good display of linking up with the defence and the attack makes the Spanish based ball juggler clearly our man-of-the-match.
Jordan Ayew’s second and 10 one for the national team saw him display some confidence and level-headedness that saw him score from a forest of legs to cushion the team.
Swansea City star Andre Ayew also impressed on an afternoon win was needed at all cost while Leicester City's Jeffrey Schlupp came off the bench hugely dominate the Comoros side of defence with his explosive pace.
We bring you a brief tale of the tape via our Yen.com.gh lens of how the Black Stars players fared in the match.
RAZAK BRAIMAH (GOALKEEPER) 5/10
The Cordoba shot-stopper had a quiet day for the fact that his team pummeled the Islanders for most part of the game but one brilliance in the earlier minutes of the game to stop a goal bound shot need to be rewarded some good marks. His timely organization of his defensemen throughout the game was a plus which compensates for his woeful punches.
HARRISON AFFUL (7/10)
Had a good game today and added up to the wide play of the team with runs on the flanks. In one of such runs, he sent one teaser to Jordan Ayew for the striker to misfire.
BABA RAHMAN (6/10)
The shyness of the Comoros team at attacking Ghana’s backline made Rahman do some surging runs which the strikers should have utilized. On a few occasions that they attacked us, he did quite some good job by defending well.
JONATHAN MENSAH (4.5/10)
His return from the 4-month FIFA ban gave him some hard time to cope with the hard running forward line of the Comoros team and this perhaps saw him limp off the pitch in the mid-term of the first half to be replaced by Daniel Amartey.
JOHN BOYE (6/10)
Ghana indeed benefited from an improved Boye who sat in defense to watch over a tactical minded Comoros attack that tarried in wait for his lapse. The lanky defender’s presence was enough barrier to ward of their threats.
EMMANUEL AGYEMANG-BADU (6.5/10)
The Italian midfielder’s robustness was seen in most parts of the game and his good view of the field made him spray some good passes up-front and one of such moves resulted in Ghana’s free-kick which was converted by Wakaso. When it mattered most, Agyeman covered his back line from some of the opposing team’s attack.
MUBARAK WAKASO (8/10)
Obviously the man-of-the-match with such tenacity in his runs and equally timely recovery to support his back four made him outstanding today. He opened the scoring for the Black Stars with a masterpiece free kick that gave the team some confidence and calmed the nerves of the vociferous Kumasi fans. When he took on the defense, he was a delight to watch plus his strength in tackling.
ANDRE AYEW (7.5/10)
Dede as usual was busy for the team throughout the game and always had ways to outwit his markers who had a tall task to accomplish in keeping him in check. He was conspicuous with his timely tackling anytime he was called upon to destroy the Comoros team’s build ups. He also sent in some good crosses which could have been converted by his colleagues upfront. His hunger for goals was put in check by the Comoros keeper when he denied him from scoring with his usual headers in the 81st minute.
The TP Mazembe man was replaced by Schlupp in 32nd minute. But for his occasional bust ups at the defense of the Comoros 18 yard, the nimble-footed player had a quiet day.
ASAMOAH GYAN (5/10)
The striker had some difficult times on the field any time he came closer to the ball. He always had about two or three people to contend with but his resilience saw assist one such balls to Jordan for him to cooly finish. He had a good sight at goal to convert one in the first half but sadly missed.
JORDAN AYEW (FORWARD) 7.5/10
The striker can be said to have come of age as he applied some level headedness to outwit his two markers and picked a place on the blind side of the goal keeper to score the second goal. His not getting the supplies from midfield made him drop deep into the middle to search for balls but still had the energy in fighting for balls and showing his attacking instincts.
Daniel Amartey (5.5/10)
He made the absence of Jonathan not felt that much with some resilience and strong presence as he linked up delightfully with the middle men.
Jeffrey Schlupp (6.5/10)
The Leicester man made the Comoros defenders revise their notes as he added up bite in our attack with some purposeful runs.
Samuel Tetteh (4/10)
The WAFA man came on to replace the captain, Gyan in the 93 minute and didn’t see much of the game. But his agreeing to step in the shoes of his captain tells a lot of the U-20 graduate.