Ghana got their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign underway in style when beating Madagascar 3-0 in Cape Coast on Wednesday night.
AS Roma prodigy Felix Afena-Gyan scored one and set up another to help the Black Stars to the convincing victory in the Group E game in the coastal city.
Talented playmaker Mohammed Kudus broke the deadlock on 52 minutes with a simple tap-in from Felix Afena-Gyan before the youngster doubled the lead a few moments later.
Substitute Osman Bukari wrapped the victory after using his pace to outwit his marker before rounding up goalkeeper Nina Razakirina for the emphatic win.
The home side could have won the game by a wider margin as Kudus scored in the 68th minute but was flagged offside by the match official.
The result means Ghana go top of Group E thanks to the victory after Angola defeated Central Africa Republic 2-1 in the group’s other game earlier in the day.
The Black Stars completely dominated the opening exchanges with youngsters Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Felix Afena-Gyan missing good goalscoring opportunities by the 20th minute.
Sporting Lisbon prodigy Issahaku fired over the bar after making light work of two defenders before setting up Afena-Gyan nicely for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper but shot wide.
Goalkeeper Razakirina produced an outstanding save in the 35th minute to deny Black Stars striker Jordan Ayew from scoring with a rasping strike from 45 yards.
Ghana returned from the break and Afena-Gyan managed to exploit the crack in the visitors’ defence before cutting back for Kudus who tapped in from close range.
The AS Roma attacker made it 2-0 two minutes later after poking it in with the outside of his left foot from inside the box before Bukari’s effort with four minutes left sealing the victory.
Ghana are equal at the top of the group with Angola on three points but the Black Stars top the group with a better goal difference.
The Black Stars will travel to play the Central African Republic in four days’ time while Madagascar hosts Angola in the group’s other game.