The Black Stars of Ghana silenced their Ugandan counterparts with a goal to nil in the Group D opening game of the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Port-Gentil Stadium in Gabon.
The Cranes who have suddenly become a nemesis to the Black Stars in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier could not handle red-hot Black Stars on the day.
Both sides started on a bright note with an end to end battles. But it was the Black Stars who made the first serious incursion after Jordan Ayew outsmarted his marker to create an opening for Andrew Ayew in the penalty yard box but his shot went straight into the arms of the Cranes goal keeper.
Ghana however mounted continuous pressure on Uganda and were rewarded with a penalty in the 32nd minute after skipper Asamoah Gyan was brought down by the Ugandan defender who failed to handle a loose ball in his first attempt. The West Ham United talisman, Ayew displaced the Ugandan keeper to shoot Ghana ahead.
Christian Atsu could have doubled Ghana’s lead five minutes after the goal .He mesmerized the Ugandan defence on the left side with Joseph Ochaya being the victim but wasted the chances that came his way.
The Cranes came into the game strongly after they conceded and were nearly rewarded with some few minutes to end the first half but Miya’s low grounder hit the outside of the goal post.
Back from recess, Uganda took hold of the game and fired from all angles. Joseph Ochaya, Miya and captain Massa all shot from long range but none troubled Black Stars keeper, Razak Brimah. Uganda came close for the equalizer but Massa’s expertly taken free-kick missed the target narrowly.
Ghana also tried to double the lead but Thomas Partey’s long drive in the 70th minute could not worry the Ugandan keeper. Both sides threw fresh limbs into the game but it was Uganda who benefited even though they could not equalize .They placed excessive pressure on the Black Stars at the dying embers of the game for the equalizer but to no avail. Atsu got the last clear chance of the game but as usual, his finishing was not good enough for an additional goal.
With three minutes to end proceedings, Uganda had a penalty call which was dismissed by the referee after it was adjudged by the referee as too feeble.
After the three minutes of injury time was exhausted, the referee signaled for the end of the game and that gave the Black Stars their first win in Gabon.