Ghana started their Championship campaign on a high beating South Africa 2-0 in their Group B opener on Monday at the Caroline Faye Stadium in M’bour.
Thamsanqa Masiya’s own goal and a decisive one from Benjamin Tetteh for the Black Satellites was more than enough to again confirm Ghana’s superiority of the Amajita who finished the match with a man down when Aubrey Modiba was red-carded early in the second half.
It was a deserving victory for Ghana who go top of the Group B with the maximum points. Mali will play Zambia in the other Group B later at the same venue.
Ghana took the lead after eight minutes when South African defender Thamsanqa Masiya converted a Prosper Kassim cross from the left into his own net. Shortly before half-time, the “Satellites” increased their lead with the second goal through Tetteh who lobbed over onrushing Msibi after Yaw Yeboah chipped to him.
The Black Satellites continued to dominate and almost doubled their lead in 17th minute. Captain Joseph Owusu Bempah delivered a cross from the right that was chested by tall Ghana striker Tetteh before firing a half volley just for the South Africa Keeper Dumsani Msibi to control with ease.
The pace of the second period was dictated by both teams but the South Africans suffered a blow three minutes to half-time when Aubrey Modiba was sent off for a foul on Ghana defender Bempah after receiving a second yellow card from Referee Ibrahim Nour El Din (Egypt) for a tackle that saw Bempah replaced by Kingsley Fobi.
In spite of the numerical advantage, the Ghanaians failed to increase their lead against South Africa who gave it their all without finding the net.
Ghana will next play Mali on Thursday, 12 March 2015 before facing Mali three days later. All matches will be played in M’bour.
Coach Sellas Tetteh Vite, Ghana
We wasted a lot of chances. Whenever a team is down by a man, they appear motivated and work very hard. After the red card, we were not effective. Despite being a man down the South Africans gave us a good game and that is the hallmark of a good team.
Joseph Owusu Bempah,Captain, Ghana
It is good to get the three points, but there is still room for improvement. It is a good sign to play well and create chances. We hope to continue from there.
Coach Thabo Senong, South Africa
The first half was not good, but our performance in the second half was not bad either. The goal was from two mistakes from our defence. It is always very difficult when you are a man down. But the red card, we could have done better in the second half. There is a lot of positives from my team and we are looking forward to our next game. We will regroup and make sure that the players are motivated for the next game against Mali.
Motjeka Madisha Captain, South Africa
This kind of result is not good for us. We really have to work hard in the next game. We will go back and identify our mistakes.
By: Jammeh E.K. Bojang