Stars outshine Sudan's Desert Warriors

14 years ago

Ghana took a giant stride towards their goal of reaching both the 2010 African Nations Cup and World Cup finals by beating Sudan 2-0 in Omdurman on Saturday.

The Black Stars are still some points away from qualifying for the double soccer fiesta next year on the continent after securing another important win.

NAC Breda striker Matthew Amoah put the Black Stars ahead after 5 minutes 21 minutes and snatched a brace when he scored again with 52 minutes gone.

Amoah was denied a hat-trick when Bashir Ahmed scooped the ball off the line in the 82nd minute before he made way for Junior Agogo. Amoah now joins Agogo as joint top scorer for the Black Stars in the qualifying series.

Bahsir was on hand again to clear another ball off the line this time a Michael Essien header on the stroke of full time.

The win hands Ghana 9 points in Group D, six clear off the second-placed Benin, who play their game on Sunday against Mali, midway through the final qualifying phase for the World Cup to be staged by Africa for the first time.

Despite the scoreline, the Black Stars were made to work for the result before a packed house at the Al Merreikh Stadium with the Sudanese hitting the crossbar once and forcing goalkeeper Richard Kingson into pulling some good saves.

The Black Stars took advantage of the good start to the game when a pass from midfield found Prince Tagoe who outpaced his marker to slide a pass into the box which was tapped in from close range by Amoah.

Anthony Annan was the first Ghana player who enter the books of referee Jamel Ambaya before Kwadwo Asamoah and John Mensah both drew cards.

The Desert Warriors were unfazed as they played the ball round beautifully and piled the pressure but struggled to break the Ghana backline as the Black Stars finished off the opening half 1-0 up.

Sudan showed their strengths with some good passing play as they started the second half strongly forcing goalkeeper Kingson to tip round a shot from outside the box.

But seven minutes into the half and Amoah received a pass from Asamoah, turned round his marker and made his way into the box before placing it past the goalkeeper Bahaeldin Abdallah.

Two goals down and the Sudanese kept on pushing as the Ghana bench introduced Isaac Vorsah for Opoku Agyemang in the 55th minute.

Milovan Rajevac exhausted his substitutions after bringing on Haminu Draman for Prince Tagoe in the 80th minute.

Two-goal hero Matthew Amoah after seeing his possible third goal cleared off the line made way for Junior Agogo eight minutes later.

As the minutes ticked for the end, Michael Essien was the second Black Stars player to see his effort at goal scooped off the line.

But with a two-goal cushion, the Black Stars were home and dry as the qualifiers takes a break after this weekend's round of matches.

Ghana has three outings which include the visits of Sudan and Mali with an away tie against Benin when the qualifiers resume later in September.

Ghana line up:

Richard Kingson, Samuel Inkoom, Harrison Afful, John Mensah, Eric Addo, Michael Essien, Anthony Annan, Opoku Agyemang/Isaac Vorsah, Mathew Amoah/Junior Agogo, Prince Tagoe/Haminu Draman, Kwadwo Asamoah.

Subs: George Owu, Samuel Kyere, Moussa Narry, Junior Agogo, Isaac Vorsah, Haminu Draman and Jonathan Quartey.