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Ghana triumphs over Central African Republic in thrilling World Cup qualifier

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Ghana narrowly edged out the Central African Republic with a 4-3 victory on Monday, continuing their impressive run in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. This high-stakes match, part of Group I in the Africa Zone qualifiers, saw the Black Stars rally from behind to secure their win.

Central African Republic’s Strong Start

The Central African Republic began the match with ambition and efficiency, putting significant pressure on the Ghanaian defense.

Despite an early goal by Jordan Ayew in the 6th minute that put the hosts ahead, the visitors responded with determination.

Louis Mafouta scored twice for the Central Africans, finding the net in the 11th and 41st minutes, which allowed them to lead 2-1 at halftime.

Their clinical finishing made it a challenging first half for Ghana.

Ghana’s Second Half Comeback

The halftime break proved to be a turning point for the Black Stars.

Emerging from the locker room with renewed vigor, Ghana equalized on the hour mark through Jordan Ayew, who capitalized on a well-executed play to bring the score to 2-2.

Just two minutes later, Issahaku Fatawu put Ghana in the lead with a decisive strike, showcasing the team’s improved attacking play.

Jordan Ayew, continuing his stellar form, completed his hat-trick by scoring his fourth goal in two games, further extending Ghana’s lead to 4-2.

His remarkable performance was instrumental in the Black Stars’ resurgence and highlighted his importance to the team.

Late Drama

Despite the two-goal deficit, the Central African Republic did not relent. Louis Mafouta completed his hat-trick with a goal in the 90th minute, adding a late twist to the match.

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However, the Central Africans were unable to find an equalizer before the final whistle, and the match concluded with a 4-3 victory for Ghana.

Group I Standings

With this win, Ghana now sits atop Group I with 9 points from three matches, asserting their dominance in the qualifiers.

The Central African Republic, on the other hand, remains in 5th place with 4 points, reflecting the competitive nature of the group.

Looking Ahead

Ghana’s performance, particularly in the second half, demonstrated their resilience and ability to respond under pressure.

The Black Stars will look to build on this momentum in their upcoming matches as they aim for a spot in the 2026 World Cup.

Meanwhile, the Central African Republic will need to regroup and strategize for their remaining fixtures to keep their qualification hopes alive.

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