A first half brace from Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew was enough for Ghana to record a deserving 2-0 win over Ethiopia in the 2019 AFCON qualifier at the Hawassa International Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was the 13th and 14th international goals in 47 appearances for the son of the legendary Abedi Pele.
The Swansea City loanee, broke the deadlock for Ghana after just three minutes into the game.
The Ghanaian team looked more purposeful with their dominance in their quest to put more goals past the home who were whipped 5-0 in the first league last year September in Kumasi.
Jordan Ayew brilliantly converted a penalty after striker Emmanuel was brought down the the box by the Ethiopian Goalkeeper to double Kwesi Appiah’s side lead in the 23rd mark.
The Walia ibex despite possessing the ball better at some point, lacked the cutting edge in attack to put the ball at the back of the net.
Black from recess, Empoli midfielder Afriyie Acquah was introduced to the game by Kwesi Appiah to tighten his midfield when he came on to replace Thomas Partey who didn’t really shine as expected of him.
Desta Yohannes on the other hand, was replaced by Ahmed Reshid for Ethiopia.
The Ethiopians threatened a comeback with an improved performance particularly in the second half but failed on numerous occasions to unlock the defensive partnership of John Boye and Kassim Nuhu Adams.
Waasland Beveren midfielder Nana Ampomah however, came on for uninspiring Christian Atsu in the 72nd minute after Adis Giday had been substituted for Samson Tilahun for the Ethiopian team.
The hosts final substitution saw Amanuel Gebremikael coming on for Beneyam Demte.
Kwesi Appiah, who seemed to be comfortable with the 2-0 lead brought on Jonathan Mensah to replace striker Jordan Ayew.
Jordan Ayew was booked in the 80th minute for a nasty conduct.
The win boosts Black Stars qualification chances as they move to second in Group F, just a point behind leaders Kenya.
With CAF yet to make a final decision in regards to Sierra Leone (who have been banned by FIFA and therefore barred from playing the last three rounds of qualifiers) and their status in Group F, the Black Stars’ place at the 2019 finals is not fully confirmed.
But if and when CAF award 3-0 wins to Sierra Leone’s opponents for the three missing games (two of which were against Ghana), James Kwesi Appiah’s side will be mathematically guaranteed a place in the top two of the group, and therefore safely into the draw for Cameroon 2019.
Ghana start list:
Christian Atsu/Nana Ampomah
Thomas Partey/Afriyie Acquah
Jordan Ayew/ Jonathan Mensah
Lawrence Ati Zigi