Competition
  • Champions League

André Ayew penalty gives Ghana CAN 2017 win over Uganda

1
END
0
Uganda
  • first half
  • 15'
  • 30'
  • second half
  • 60'
  • 75'
  • 90'
Ghana

0' Ayew

0' Out Rahman in Frank Acheampong

41' Out Gyan in Badu

41' Out J. Ayew in Acquah

Uganda

0' Isaac Isinde

41' Out Michael Azira in Moses Oloya

41' Out Luwagga Kizito in Muhammad Shaban

41' Out Isaac Isinde in Geofrey Serunkuma

GHANA 1 - 0 UGANDA

André Ayew penalty gives Ghana CAN 2017 win over Uganda

André Ayew penalty gives Ghana CAN 2017 win over Uganda

JUSTIN TALLIS

AFP

The Ghana national team started their Africa Cup of Nations challenge with a single-goal victory thanks to a penalty kick from the West Ham star.

Burkina Faso vs Egypt

Andre Ayew converted a first-half penalty as Ghana started their latest bid to reclaim the Africa Cup of Nations title with a hard-earned 1-0 victory against Uganda in Port-Gentil on Tuesday.

Uganda's midfielder Hassan Wasswa and Uganda's midfielder Geoffrey Kizito react at the end of the Ghana game.

Penalty decides game in poor conditions

The West Ham United star's 32nd-minute conversion from the spot was all that separated the sides on an awful pitch as Ghana withstood Ugandan pressure in the second half and ended their recent poor record against the Cranes.

The Black Stars, who have not won the continental title since 1982 and lost on penalties to the Ivory Coast in the final two years ago, can now look forward with confidence to their next game against Mali. Meanwhile, Uganda will have to wait a little longer for their first goal and points in their first appearance at the Cup of Nations since 1978.

Ghana's squad pose for a group picture ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Ghana and Uganda in Port-Gentil on January 17, 2017.

Eight of Ghana's line-up started the final in Equatorial Guinea in 2015, the only exceptions being Thomas Partey, Jordan Ayew and Leicester City's Daniel Amartey. Ghana had struggled in recent matches against Milutin Sredojevic's side, failing to win any of three encounters spread over the qualifiers for the 2015 Cup of Nations and the 2018 World Cup. However, Uganda were without key players in centre-back Murushid Juuko and midfielder Khalid Aucho through suspension, and they spent most of the first half on the back foot.

Only one chance taken

Twice skipper Asamoah Gyan headed just wide and Christian Atsu fired narrowly over before Andre Ayew steered a low shot towards goal only for Denis Onyango to save. After knocking on the door in the first half-hour, the breakthrough came when Gyan robbed Isaac Isinde inside the area before being held back. The referee from Botswana pointed to the spot and booked the defender, with Ayew waiting for Onyango to commit before slotting in the penalty. Christian Atsu, the star of the 2015 tournament, tested Onyango soon after but by that point Ghana had lost left-back Abdul Rahman Baba, stretchered off with what looked like a hamstring injury.

Uganda's goalkeeper Denis Onyango was by far the busiest keeper.

Spurred on by a small but lively band of supporters decked in red, yellow and black, Uganda finished the first half with a flourish, and Faruku Miya of Standard Liege should have done better than send in a shot that grazed the post on its way past. Tonny Mawejje came close and captain Geoffrey Massa tried his luck from a 30-yard free-kick that flew inches over Razak Brimah's bar, as Ghana held on. Indeed, they might have won by more had Atsu not been denied by Onyango five minutes from the end.

Line-ups

5

Yellow Card
Off for Geofrey Serunkuma

Isaac Isinde

16

Hassan Wasswa

12

Denis Iguma

2

Joseph Ochaya

3

Geoffrey Kizito

6

Tonny Mawejje

10

Off for Muhammad Shaban

Luwagga Kizito

23

Off for Moses Oloya

Michael Azira

11

Geofrey Massa

Ghana

Avram Grant

4-4-2 (D.P.)

Uganda

Milutin Sredojevic

4-1-3-2

  • 22 Shafiq Batambuze
  • 1 Robert Odongkara
  • 21 Muhammad Shaban
    On for Luwagga Kizito
  • 7 Yunus Sentamu
  • 15 Godfrey Walusimbi
  • 19 Jamal Salim
  • 14 Nicholas Wadada
  • 9 Geofrey Serunkuma
    On for Isaac Isinde
  • 20 Timothy Awanyi
  • 13 Moses Oloya
    On for Michael Azira

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