The Black Stars of Ghana have qualified for the 2017 AFCON tournament in Gabon thanks to a 2-0 victory over Mauritius at the Anjalay Stadium, Sunday.
Stand in skipper Dede Ayew and Christian Atsu in a late rally buried two quick goals in the second half to break the resilient Mauritius defence.
It was a story of complete Ghana dominance in both the first and second halves but an agile Mauritius goal keeper with an organised defence meant the host will keep a clean slate in the first half.
But the host lived dangerously all through the first half. Frank Acheampong and Christian Atsu were slippery customers for the Mauritius defence but Jordan Ayew who led the Ghanaian attack in the absence of injured Asamoah Gyan was always caught out of position.
In the 23rd minute Acheampong was played through by Wakaso but the Anderlecht man hesitated in front of goal. With just the Mauritius goal keeper to beat, he selflessly decided to locate his skipper but his touch was too heavy to connect.
Afriyie Acquah who had been combative in midfield together with Wakaso Mubarak fired a thunderbolt from 20 yards but the shot was parried to safety in the 42nd minute.
Dede Ayew had two opportunities later on in the half but was sloppy and led the Stars into the dug-out with nothing to cheer.
On their return however, Ayew made amends with a well taken goal in the 71st minute on his cultured left foot from close range.
It took a while though as the Stars created and messed up numerous goal scoring opportunities that came their way.
Frank Acheampong was outstanding on the left with his rampaging runs and incisive crosses but Jordan Ayew, time without number, was nowhere to connect.
The host did not turn up and did not threaten the Ghanaian goal. The few incursions that came were handled quite well by the Ghana defence.
With 20 minutes left to play skipper Dede Ayew dummied two markers before slotting the ball into the corner of the post for Ghana’s opener.
He had been played through on the left by Frank Acheampong who exhibited a man of the match performance.
Three minutes later, Christian Atsu increased the tally with a cool finish from a sublime pass by Baba Rahman. Two nil it ended and Ghana are in Gabon for the AFCON 2017.
Mauritius (0) 0 – Ghana (0) 2
[A.Ayew 71′, Atsu 74′]
Ghana XI: Brimah, Afful, Baba, Mensah, Boye, Wakaso, Atsu, Acquah, Acheampong, A.Ayew, J.Ayew
Mauritius XI: Jean-Louis, Dorza, Vincent, Balisson, Rasolofonirina, Francis, Bru, Bell, K.Bru, St-Louis, Noel