Andre Ayew’s first half penalty was enough to split Uganda and Ghana in match seven of the African Cup of Nations.
Uganda, making their first appearance at the tournament in 39 years, played poorly in the first half but their second half performance was much improved and with an all-out attack approach they were unlucky not to equalise.
Ghana took the lead in the 32nd minute when Andre Ayew fired a penalty straight down the middle and into the back of the net. The penalty came from a moment of stupidity from Uganda’s Isinde. He miscontrolled in his own box and when the ball was stolen from him by Gyan, he brought the striker down.
Ghana went into half-time with a deserved lead but Uganda were much improved in the second half. With three up-front they just couldn’t quite put the ball in the back of the net. Mawejje and Shaban failed to score from good chances and while they created some promising openings, many times they just couldn’t get a shot away.
Massa sent in a cross which was almost turned in but for Amartey’s heroics. Uganda also couldn’t put the ball in after Razak’s dreadful punch. Atsu also had a good chance late on which was saved excellently by Onyango.
Ghana went into their shell in the second half. Avram Grant took off all of their strikers by the end of the game and replaced them with more defence-minded players. The Black Stars resorted to time-wasting late on with the side killing time in the corner.
It was unlucky for Uganda to not get a draw out of the game but Ghana showcased some very good defending which could definitely come in handy in the latter stages.
The game started slow, Asamoah Gyan had the first chance of the game. Afful, who was hugging the right touchline, received the ball from a throw-in and immediately swung the ball in. Gyan tried to get a head on it but could only glance it wide.
The Ayew siblings combined to nearly put Ghana ahead. Jordan ran down the right flank and put in a fantastic ball from the byline for Andre Ayew but with the ball coming across the box, he decided to strike with his left foot. He hit it straight at Onyango.
Soon after this, Uganda gave away a penalty. The giveaway featured some shockingly bad defending. Isinde flicked the ball up as the centre-back received his own ball just within the box. This attempt at controlling the ball ended terribly. Gyan came running in and stole the ball. Isinde reacted by pulling the forward back and fouling him in the area.
Isinde received a yellow card. Andre Ayew stepped up to take the penalty with infamous 2010 penalty misser Gyan opting not to. Ayew’s penalty was up to scratch. The Ghanaian hit it straight down the middle.
Baba was forced off after a suspected hamstring injury. Baba had already gone down once before at the half-way line before rejoining the game but it wasn’t long until he was down again outside the opposition’s box. This time his absence from the game a permanent one. Acheampong came on.
Atsu did well to nearly give Ghana a second. He turned brilliantly to set himself free from Ochaya. On the right flank, he faced Ochaya again on the edge of the box. He beat the left-back again with a step-over and running into the box he hit his shot straight at Onyango.
Uganda’s frontman Miya missed an excellent chance for an equaliser. Miya found himself on the ball on the right side of the area. He attempted to hit the ball into an opening at the near post. His shot came close but hit the outside of the post.
Ghana led going into the break. A moment of madness the difference between the two sides, Ghana definitely being the better side.
Uganda made a substitution early on. Subbing on Oloya for Azira.
Later Shaban came on for Kizoto.
One of the first real chances of the second half did fall to Uganda. From a Ugandan corner, the ball was passed to Mawejje who rifled a shot at goal which whipped just past the post.
Uganda came close on the counter. Shaban chased a loose ball into the area with Boye in hot pursuit. Shaban attempted to poke the ball home from a tight angle but Razak managed to stop it.
Uganda made their final substitution bringing on Serunkuma for Isinde.
Ghana made their second change and first unforced substitution with Badu coming off for Asamoah Gyan.
Uganda wasted a promising attack. Massa made a fantastic run down the right flank. He sent in a great ball into the area which looked like Serenkuma would be able to turn in, only for Amartey to turn it away.
Acquah came off for Jordan Ayew in the closing moments in yet another defensive substitution.
Onyango made a great save to deny Atsu a goal. The Newcastle player received a ball over the top on the right of the box. He then set himself up for a left-footed shot. He then took a shot with his left which went beyond the outstretched legs of two Ugandan defenders only for Onyango to deny him with a parried save.
A half-hearted punch from Razak nearly gifted Uganda an equaliser. He ran out to intercept a cross but the punch was poor. He was out of position but Uganda completely wasted the chance as they failed to get the ball under control for a proper shot.
Despite Uganda’s much-improved second half performance, there was nothing the side could do. Their reappearance in the competition ended in defeat.