Ghana/Zambia: Ghana Reach Playoff in Style
A soccer fan.
Ghana beat Zambia 2-1 on Friday in Kumasi to book its place at the playoff of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Russia-based striker Abdul Majeed Warris gave the Black Stars a first half lead before midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah doubled the lead in the second half. Nathan Sinkala reduced the deficit for the Chipolopolos in the dying embers of the game.
Ghana moves to 15 points at the summit of Group D, four more than the Zambians, and remain on course for their third successive World Cup appearance.
The Chipolopolos needed nothing short of victory to go through and showed glimpses of their ambitions with dominance in possession in the opening minutes of the ultimate fixture of this stage.
However, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock on 17 minutes through Waris, who headed home from a John Boye cross after the Zambian defence were caught off guard.
The visitors were in control of the game with Emmanuel Mayuka and captain Christopher Katongo giving the Ghanaian defence some nightmares.
The Zambian resumed the second half stronger and Fwayo Temboi tested Ghana goalie Fatau Dauda with a piler that went wide.
Ghana coach Kwasi Appiah brought on Michael Essiena and Christian Atsu for Rabiu Mohamed and Mubarak Wakaso respectively in his quest to stop the Chipolopolo forays into their half.
The substitution did work and on 62 minutes, Asamaoh doubled the lead with a screamer that beat Zambian goalie Kennedy Mweene.
Sinkala managed to grab a consolation for his side on 72 minutes by connecting in a Rainford Kalaba corner-kick.