The Black Stars of Ghana needed an improved second half to overcome Central African Republic (CAR) in a thrilling world cup qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium on Monday night.

It was a game of two halves for both sides which saw the Black Stars going into the break trailing the visitors by 1-2after Louis Mafouta overturned Jordan Ayew’s opener.

Two more goals from Ayew and another by Abdul-FataoIssahaku in the second half completed a perfect come back in front of a packed stadium.

The Black Stars hit the ground running right from the start of the match, winning a penalty under three minutes when Issahaku was brought down in the box.

Ayew beautifully converted from the spot, sending goalkeeper Dominique Youfeigane the wrong direction for the opener.

The wild jubilation that greeted the goal was however short-lived when the visitors restored parity just five minutes after conceding the first goal.

They switched defence into attack after Mohammed Kudus lost possession in midfield, and before the Stars coul
d recover the ball was already at the back of their net.

Loius Mafouta run between the two centre backs and calmly controlled a long ball from midfield before placing it beyond Lawrence Ati Zigi.

They almost stole the lead on the 16th minute but for a swift recovery by Ati Zigi to prevent Mafouta from scoring after failing to grab the first ball.

As the attacking threats of the visitors became evident, the Black Stars became jittery in their quest to stamp their authority.

With five minutes to the end of the first half, the Wild Beasts scored their second against the run of play, capitalising on the poor showing of Alidu Seidu whose position appeared to be the weakest link of the Black Stars set up.

Similar to their first goal, they stole the ball from Alidu and Abdul Samed and launched a swift attack which saw Alexander Djiku having the arduous task of stopping two attackers.

With the other attacker serving as a decoy, Mafouta had enough space to enter the box to cause the damage.

The Black Stars step
ped up their performance in an attempt to restore parity before the break, but failed to make their dominance count before referee Ahmed Andurazg ended proceedings.

They returned from the break determined to equalise within the first five minutes as they kept the visitors in their own half with series of incursions.

The incessant attacks paid off 15 minutes into the half when Jordan headed home a cross from Gideon Mensah to bring the Stars on level terms.

Issahaku put the Stars in the lead for the second time fewminutes later when his effort in the box directed at goal took a wicked deflection, leaving the goalkeeper no chance of saving the situation.

The arrival of that all-important goal was the turning point for the Black Stars as they continued to dominate play with the backing of the fans who had rediscovered their voices which had been confiscated by the visitors in the first half.

As their confidence increased amid the cheers from the fans ,Jordan had the easiest task of tapping the ball into the
net after a goal-mouth melee to put the icing on the cake.

After taking a commanding lead which appeared unassailable, the Stars adopted a game management strategy by holding on to the ball to while away time.

Their lackadaisical approach paved way for their opponents to come into the game when Mafouta scored his third of the night to reduce the deficit to one on the stroke of full time.

This set up a nervous six additional minutes during which the visitors came close to equalising twice, but the Stars stood firm to secure all three points.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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