The Black Stars of Ghana showed great resilience to beat Zimbabwe 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier played at the Cape Coast Stadium on Saturday.
Milovan Rajevac’s charges were looking to revive their World Cup qualifying campaign after last month’s defeat to South Africa, the same with Zimbabwe after the loss to Ethiopia.
It was the Black Stars who got off to a perfect start when Kudus Mohammed’s goal-bound shot after a brilliant exchange of passes somehow sneaked into the bottom corner beating Washington Arubi, in goal for Zimbabwe.
The goal greatly-affected the Warriors and their game plan, as Mapeza’s men failed to respond and barely kept the ball.
Zimbabwe had goalkeeper Washington Arubi to thank ten minutes later, the Marumo Gallants man brilliantly denied Fatawu Issahaku from close range.
Arubi was fuming at his defense a few moments later, after Issahaku was given very little attention and freely shot at goal but his effort went over the crossbar.
Mohammed’s early strike was the difference between the two sides at the half time interval.
A minute into the second half, Knox Mutizwa was brought down in the box and Gabonese referee Atcho Pierre Ghislain rightly-pointed to the spot to award Zimbabwe a penalty.
Captain Knowledge Musona stepped up and confidently dispatched the kick to restore parity for Mapeza’s charges, who also scored their first goal of the campaign in the process.
The goal brought some sort of belief in the Warriors, who deaminated exchanges thereafter and were very unlucky to not take the lead in the 57th minute when impressive Jordan Zemura’s cracking effort crashed against the crossbar.
Musona came close to putting Zimbabwe ahead five minutes later, when his stinging shot was parried away by Black Stars goalkeeper Jojo Wallacott.
Just when they were starting to impose themselves, the Warriors found themselves trailing again in the 65th minute. ‘
Tendayi Darikwa did not clear the ball on time and a pass was threaded to Thomas Partey- the Arsenal star’s low shot beat Arubi for Ghana’s second.
Mapeza made a double substitution in response to the goal, when he replaced Marvelous Nakamba and Zemura with Bruce Kangwa and Teenage Hadebe.
Andre Ayew put the final nail on the Warriors coffin when he headed home the Black Stars’ third, in the 86th minute.