Accra, March 25, GNA – The Black Stars of Ghana held their South African counterparts in a 1-1 draw game played at the FNB Stadium on Thursday.
The results means Ghana who currently top of Group C with 10 points are guaranteed a top two finish even with a loss against Sao Tome and Principe in their last group game on Sunday.
The Black Stars have a better head-head record than South Africa and Sudan who go head to head for a place at next year’s tournament.
Bafana Bafana started the game the better side and could have opened the scoring inside six minutes but Thapelo Morena effort could only find the side net.
The home side looked very comfortable in possession with impressive build up play from defence to attack.
South Africa had a good opportunity to open the scoring in the 19th minute but Sfiso Hlanti’s effort was tipped over the bar by Black Stars goalie Razak Abalora.
It was a lackluster performance from the Black Stars in the opening half hour as they failed to create any chances upfront and were kept on the back foot by South Africa.
Thapelo Morena had another opportunity to put Bafana Bafana ahead past the half hour mark but his well drilled shot could only find the side net.
South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was virtually on holiday with his only save of the first half coming from a weak free kick from Black Stars Captain Mubarak Wakaso.
The Black Stars were lucky to have ended the first half not conceding with South Africa not clinical enough.
Black Stars started the second half in more purposeful fashion and Kudus Mohammed speared the Black Stars in front with a sublime effort.
South Africa responded in quick fashion as Percy Tau restored parity for the home side three minutes later with a cool finish inside the penalty box.
The game was certainly open in the second half with both sides searching for the lead.
The Black Stars looked a much more improved side in the second half with good passing football but still lacked the cutting edge upfront.
Ghana goalkeeper Razak Abalora was impressive in post for the Black Stars and he denied South Africa the lead in the late stages of the game with a brilliant stop.
The Black Stars held on to secure a ticket to next year’s AFCON to be held in Cameroon from January-February.
Line-Up: Razak Abalora (GK) Benson Annan, Baba Abdul Rahman, Nicholas Opoku, Ismail Ganiyu, Afriyie Acquah, Kwame Opoku, Mubarak Wakaso, Caleb Ekuban, Mohammed Kudus, Emmanuel Gyasi
South Africa Starting Line-Up: Ronwen Williams (GK), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Siyanda Xulu, Innocent Maela, Sfiso Hlanti, Rivaldo Coetzee, Andile Jali, Thapelo Morena, Themba Zwane, Percy Tau, Ruzaigh Gamildien