Statistics from Ghana vs Kenya AFCON match

Kenya and Ghana had already qualified for the AFCON. Ghana were the leaders of Group F with 7 points, just one point above Kenya.

However Ghana players were aware that the technical staff would be watching and taking notes on behalf of head coach Kwesi Appiah, who might finalise his Afcon list anytime soon. And it was definitely not going to be a child’s play at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.

Ghana’s desire to take their revenge after losing the first leg 1-0 to the Harambee Stars, who could be using the meeting for squad assessment ahead of the Afcon finals earned them a 1-0 triumph over Kenya on the final matchday of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.

The Trabzonspor man’s goal proved crucial as it handed the Black Stars all three points at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The result sees Ghana finish the series as group winners, two and eight points above the Harambee Stars and Ethiopia respectively. Interestingly, Ghana and Kenya both secured qualification tickets for the final tournament in Egypt before Saturday’s game.

The biggest news of Appiah’s starting XI was the decision to start Inter Milan ace Kwadwo Asamoah from the bench, with Atletico Madrid man Thomas Partey and Deportivo Alaves’ Mubarak Wakaso preferred in midfield, and Turkey-based Lumor Agbenyenu deployed at left-back.

Kenya, as expected, were led by Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama.

After a few half chances for both sides, Ghana had a good opportunity to break the deadlock in the 24th minute but Partey, after goalkeeper Patrick Matasi failed to collect Christian Atsu’s teasing cross, swept his close-range shot across the face of goal, with the net wide open.

In the 36th minute, Ghana captain Andre Ayew scored from a rebound after the goalkeeper saved a first effort but the goal was disallowed as the Fenerbahce man was adjudged by the referee to have fouled the shot-stopper in putting the ball at the back of the net. Opare sent in the initial cross.

On the stroke of half-time, Agbenyenu hit a shot across the face of goal but Dede failed to connect from three yards.

Noooooo After holding on for soooo long đŸ˜­ Schlupp Ghana 1-0 Kenya 83′ #AFCON2019Q #HarambeeStars #TheScoreKE— Carol Radull (@CarolRadull) March 23, 2019

Shortly, centre-back John Boye saw his header from a corner bobble just wide.

As keenly contested as the second half was, there were no clear-cut chances for either side until the 82nd minute when debutant Caleb Ekuban broke the deadlock.

After being played through on goal, the substitute, an Italian-born, hit a first-time left-footed shot from just inside the box, the effort proving too strong for goalkeeper Matasi as the Black Stars secured a hard-fought 1-0 win in Accra.

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