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AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Kudus, Afena-Gyan and Bukari Score as Ghana Whitewash Madagascar
- The Black Stars of Ghana opened their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with an emphatic win against Madagascar
- Mohammed Kudus, Felix-Afena Gyan and Osman Bukari all scored in the second half as the Black Stars secured an important victory
- The Black Stars travel to the Central Africa Republic for the second game of the group in three days time
Youngsters Mohammed Kudus and Felix Afena-Gyan scored in quick succession before Osman Bukari netted late as Ghana made light work of Madagascar to start the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on a winning note.
The Black Stars got off to a bright start and should have broken the deadlock after three minutes when Jordan Ayew saw his low strike go inches wide.
Ten minutes later Fatawu Issahaku fired from outside the box and missed narrowly before combining with Afena-Gyan two minutes later, but the AS Roma forward's strike was deflected out for a corner kick.
Mohammed Kudus sent the 19-year-old through with a defense splitting pass, but the youngster could not find the back of the net.
Iddrisu Baba's goal-bound header was then cleared off the line by the Madagascar goalkeeper before Jordan Ayew saw his long range effort saved by the shot-stopper, who was busy in the first half.
Madagascar had a chance to break the deadlock after a sweet combination up front before half time.
The Black Stars returned from the break strongly and just nine minutes into the second half, Ajax star Mohammed Kudus broke the deadlock after meeting a low cross from Felix Afena-Gyan.
Two minutes later Afena-Gyan went from provider to scorer. The AS Roma teenager flicked home a Gideon Mensah cross for Ghana's second.
The four times African champions dominated the game and with ten minutes remaining, Ghana coach Otto Addo made a triple substitutions, bring on Antoine Semenyo, Osman Bukari and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh for Afena-Gyan, Fatawu Issahaku and Andre Ayew.
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Second half substitute Osman Bukari then sealed victory after evading two Madagascar defenders to score his maiden goal for the national team.
The visitors could not find a way back as Ghana secured all three points in their Group E opener.
Afena-Gyan receives gift from a fan before AFCON qualifier
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Ghana's teen sensation, Felix Afena-Gyan, has been gifted a beautiful pencil painting of himself by a fan as he prepares for the opening Group E AFCON qualifier against Madagascar.
The 19-year-old is expected to lead the lines when the Black Stars of Ghana hosts Madagascar at the Cape Coast Stadium on Wednesday evening.
In photos posted on Twitter, spotted by Sports Brief, a smiling Afena-Gyan could not hide his joy as he received the drawing.