Fantastic Ghana. The Black Stars showed class in a 6-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday and ensured their World Cup hopes remain firmly in their hands.
Scoring three goals in either half ensured that the Black Stars remain in the box seat ahead of the playoff return leg on November 19.
Captain Asamoah Gyan, who grabbed a brace opened the scoring before an own goal by Wael Goma and goals from Majeed Waris, a Sulley Muntari penalty and the last strike by substitute Christian Atsu made light-work of an Egyptian goal by Mohammed Aboutreika from a penalty.
It was a dominant Ghana display and a performance that showed the Black Stars quality.
Playing at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, home grounds of local side, Asante Kotoko who 26 years ago thrashed Zamalek of Egypt 5-1 in a Continental Club match, the Black Stars were dominant from start to finish.
The result was Ghana's highest win against Egypt and their second highest in the World Cup qualifying campaign after defeating Lesotho 7-0 in June of last year in Kumasi.
From the kick-off the Black Stars went hunting for an early opener as the first chance came to Gyan after 20 seconds but his feeble connection went straight into the hands of goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy.
Buoyed on by fans who had defied the rains to raise their voices through the downpour, Ghana finally got their reward.
Gyan on the 5th minute was played in by a Waris flick and the striker raced into the box past Goma to angle a shot to the far post.
www.ghanafa.org man-of-the-match, Michael Essien orchestrated the second, dribbling past two markers into the box before his was blocked as an on-rushing Goma in an attempt to save the situation directed the ball into goal.
With five minutes remaining to end the first half, Ghana's lead was reduced when the North African side were awarded a penalty Egypt's goal after a rash shove on Mohammed Salah by Rashid Sumaila which Aboutreika expertly converted from the spot.
Three minutes later, the host reacted when Waris restored Ghana's two-goal lead, nodding in from a free kick to end the half 3-1.
Seven minutes after the break, Gyan reacted quickest to nod home after Muntari's imperious bicycle kick bounced invitingly in the box.
In the 72nd minute Waris won a penalty after going past his marker only for the substitute goalie Ahmed Elshenawi to foul him. Muntari elected himself for the kick and sent the goalie the wrong way.
Ghana's bench made three changes, sending on Mubarak Wakasu, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu and Atsu for Gyan, Ayew and Muntari.
Second half substitute, Atsu sealed the day for the Black Stars striking a shot from 25 yards that cannoned off the inside post.
The aggregate winner after the second leg will qualify to the finals in Brazil next year.
Ghana line-up: Fatau Dauda, Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare, Jerry Akaminko, Rashid Sumaila, Michael Essien, Andre Ayew/Christian Atsu, Sulley Muntari/Agyemang Badu, Abdul Majeed Waris, Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah/Mubarak Wakaso.