Last minute goal from Jordan Ayew gives Ghana the advantage over Mali

Picture of Gati Jesse

Gati Jesse

Published on June 6, 2024

Ghanaian forward Jordan Ayew came off the bench to score a dramatic late winner, securing a 2-1 victory for the Black Stars against Mali in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. This thrilling match not only showcased the resilience of Ghana’s national team but also reaffirmed Ayew’s crucial role in the squad.

The game began with Mali dominating the early stages, and their relentless pressure paid off when Kamory Doumbia’s deflected effort found the back of the net just before halftime. The goal came after a period of sustained pressure from the home side, who saw two attempts from Lassine Sinayoko brilliantly saved by Ghana’s goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi.

Ghana’s head coach Otto Addo, opting for a 3-4-3 formation, made a bold decision by leaving Jordan Ayew out of the starting lineup. The defensive trio of Alexander Djiku, Seidu Alidu, and Mohammed Salisu faced intense scrutiny from Mali’s attackers but managed to hold their ground after the early setback.

Jordan Ayew

Thomas Partey and Abdul Salis Samed provided a strong midfield presence, while wing-backs Gideon Mensah and Tariq Lamptey added width and dynamism to Ghana’s play. Despite a slow start, the Black Stars began to find their rhythm, creating a few chances before halftime but failing to convert.

The second half saw a revitalized Ghanaian side. Just minutes after the restart, Tariq Lamptey’s dangerous low cross almost resulted in an equalizer, but Antoine Semenyo couldn’t connect. Persistence paid off in the 57th minute when Salis Samed’s precise cross found Ernest Nuamah, who powered a header past the Mali goalkeeper to level the score.

With the game hanging in the balance, Addo introduced Jordan Ayew in the final 10 minutes, a move that would prove decisive. Ayew’s immediate impact was felt when he set up Thomas Partey for a golden opportunity, only for the Arsenal midfielder to miss. However, Ayew’s moment of glory came deep into injury time. Seizing a loose ball in the box, he fired home the winner, sending the Ghanaian contingent into raptures and ensuring a vital three points for the Black Stars.

Jordan Ayew

The victory places Ghana level on six points with Comoros at the top of Group I in the CAF World Cup qualifiers. The win against Mali is a significant boost for Ghana as they prepare to host the Central African Republic (CAR) in their next fixture in Kumasi on Monday, June 10. A win in this match could solidify their position at the top of the group, depending on the outcome of Comoros’ match against Madagascar.

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