Antoine Semenyo gives Ghana narrow win in Kumasi
Ghana left it late to beat Angola 1-0 on Matchday three of the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Baba Yara Sports stadium in Kumasi.
AFC Bournemouth forward Antoine Semenyo scored the winner in injury time to break the hearts of Angola after he connected from a rebound for his second International goal.
Ghana dominated play in the early exchanges but it was Angola who first tested Lawrence Ati Zigi was tested early in the opening five minutes of proceedings. The Swiss based shot stopper was on red alert to deal with a strike from Angolan midfielder Manuel Alfonso.
Coach Chris Hughton paraded a side that had Thomas Partey and Edmund Addo playing in the heart of midfield while Mohammed Kudus sat behind Inaki Williams in a 4-3-2-1 formation. Denis Odoi and Gideon Mensah were deployed at the full back positions with Daniel Amartey and Alexander Djiku playing central defence.
Manuel Alfonso shot and a Kialonda Gaspar gave Angola some glimmer of hope but the backline of Fhana dealt with the situation.
Angola grew in confidence and took the game to the Black Stars but efforts to get the opener proved futile as the whistle blew for the end of the first half.
Ghana started the second half in a blistering manner with Kamaldeen Sulemana taking control of affairs. The Southampton winger pulled a great save out of Angolan goalkeeper Neblu after cutting in with his left foot before firing with his right.
Ghana coach Chris Hughton made three changes on the bounce, bringing in Abdul Samed Salis, Antoine Semenyo and Joseph Paintsil for Edmund Addo, Inaki Williams and Jordan Ayew.
Substitute Semenyo nearly broke the deadlock few seconds after coming on but his strike was blocked by Gasper.
Semenyo came close again with ten minutes remaining after he was sent through by Thomas Partey but the bulky attacker shot wide.
Ghana was forced to make a late substitution in the closing stages as Alexander Djiku was replaced by Joseph Aidoo while Kamal Deen Sulemana came off for Osman Bukari.
With few seconds of added time remaining, Mohammed Kudus won a free kick on the edge of the box and swing in a delicious cross, which first fell for Partey, but his strike was pushed out before Semenyo smashed home the winner.
The win takes the Black Stars to 7 points – after three matches following a 3-0 win against Madagascar and a 1-1 draw against Central African Republic in the opening two matches.
The Black Stars will travel to Luanda for the reverse fixture on Monday, March 27, 2023.
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