Thomas Partey scored a hat-trick as the Black Stars kept their hopes of securing a place at the 2018 World Cup alive with a shocking 5-1 win over Congo in Brazzaville on Tuesday.
Richmond Boakye Yiadom, starting in place of the injured Asamoah Gyan, put the Black Stars ahead after good work on the left by Thomas Agyepong.
Thomas Partey doubled the Black Stars’ lead a minute later with his second in two games against the Congolese.
Congo pulled a goal back after Lloyd headed in from a corner, but the Stars restored their two-goal lead after Partey fired home for his second of the game right before half-time.
Partey completed his hat-trick when he run through on goal in the second half and finished into the top corner.
Boakye-Yiadom put the icing on the cake with his second of the match with a neat finish.
The result means the Black Stars have five points from four games, two points behind Uganda and one behind Egypt, with the two sides set to face each other later tonight.
Kwesi Appiah made five changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Congo on Friday.
With captain Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew ruled out of the game with injury and Jordan Ayew suffering a stomach ache, Appiah handed starts to Thomas Agyepong, Afriyie Acquah and Richmond Boakye-Yiadom.
The Black Stars chances of making the tournament in Russia had taken a huge blow after the draw in Kumasi and any result other the win would have ended them altogether.
The Congolese started the game brightly and created a number of chances, coming closest through Bifouma who run through on goal but was thwarted by keeper, Richard Ofori.
The Black Stars however, took the lead against the run of play as Thomas Agyepong, beat his man on the left and cut the ball back into the box.
Ebenezer Ofori’s mishit was diverted into the path of Richmond Boakye-Yiadom who tapped the ball home.
The lead was doubled seconds later as Atsu run clear on the left and crossed into the box for Boakye-Yiadom whose deflected shot fell for Partey who didn’t miss.
Richard Ofori was forced into another good save but Congo pulled a goal back when Lloyd headed home from the resulting corner.
Partey restored Ghana’s two-goal lead right at the end of the half, latching onto Atsu’s pass to fire home at the keeper’s near post.
The Congolese started brightly in the second half as well but found the Stars’ centre back pairing of Jonathan Mensah and Daniel Amartey a tough nut to crack.
Richard Ofori made a number of decent saves to keep the Black Stars ahead with Daniel Amartey chipping in with one particularly key tackle.
Partey made the points safe as he raced through a tiring Congolese defence to fire into the top corner.
Richmond Boakye-Yiadom made his case for a starting spot even stronger, finishing after latching onto a pass from Atsu
Thomas Partey has scored four goals in his last two games for the Black Stars, all against Congo
Black Stars XI
Richard Ofori, Harrison Afful, Lumor Agbenyenu, Daniel Amartey, Jonathan Mensah, Afriyie Acquah, Ebenezer Ofori, Richmond Boakye Yiadom, Thomas Agyepong, Thomas Partey, Christian Atsu
By: Edwin Kwakofi
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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