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Ghana Edges Mali 2-1 in Thrilling World Cup Qualifier in Stoppage-Time

Ghana Black Stars - 2024. GFA Communications.

In a nail-biting encounter at the Stade du 26 Mars, Jordan Ayew’s goal in the 94th minute clinched a thrilling 2-1 victory for the Ghana Black Stars over Mali in their FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers Group I match.

Mali Strikes First

The game kicked off with high energy from both sides, but it was Mali who found the net first, scoring just before halftime. This early setback ignited a fire in the Black Stars, propelling them into a more aggressive second-half performance.

Nuamah’s Equalizer

Ernest Nuamah brought Ghana back into the game with a stunning header in the 58th minute, leveling the score at 1-1. This goal revitalized the team, leading to a series of relentless attacks and crucial saves from both goalkeepers as the match wore on.

Ayew’s Decisive Goal

As the game seemed destined for a draw, Ghana’s persistence paid off in the final moments. Substitute Jordan Ayew received a perfectly timed pass from Fatawu Issahaku, displaying remarkable composure to fire the ball into the net, securing a 2-1 lead.

Ghana’s Victory Celebrated

The goal silenced the home crowd and ensured Ghana’s victory, leaving Mali with no time to mount a comeback. This win not only boosted the team’s morale but also prepared them for their next challenge against the Central African Republic at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

Otto Addo’s Insights

Head coach Otto Addo expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance. Reflecting on the early difficulties, Addo noted, “I think we had big problems in the first twenty minutes. Mali made good pressing; we had difficulties to stand firm and allowed them to make chances.”

Addo highlighted the importance of team effort and adaptability. “Not only the first 11 decides the game, also those on the bench and Fatawu did it. Good job in pressing, winning the ball, Jordan was there and he scored.”

Challenging Conditions

The match was played in intense heat, with temperatures soaring to 42 degrees. Addo commended his team’s resilience under such conditions, saying, “We played good under this circumstances… I think we did well to finish this game as winners.”

Looking Ahead

Ghana now looks forward to their next match against the Central African Republic. Addo emphasized the importance of adaptability, “Every game has different demands… we will look firmly to see what we can do against Central African Republic.”

The victory places Ghana level on points with Comoros, who will face Madagascar on June 7th. The Black Stars’ spirits are high as they prepare to continue their quest for World Cup qualification.

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