Ghana vs CAR: 5 Things We Learned As Jordan Ayew’s Hattrick Fires Black Stars to Top of WCQ Group

Ghana vs CAR: 5 Things We Learned As Jordan Ayew’s Hattrick Fires Black Stars to Top of WCQ Group

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
June 10, 2024 at 10:14 PM
In this article:
Ghana logo
Central African Republic logo
Central African Republic
Central African Republic
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
Jordan Ayew logo
J. Ayew
Crystal Palace logoFGhana logo
Abdul Fatawu Issahaku logo
A. Issahaku
Leicester City logoFGhana logo
Mohammed Kudus logo
West Ham United logoMGhana logo
  • Ghana continued their ascent under Otto Addo with a stunning fightback win against the Central African Republic on Monday, June 10
  • It was the second successive game the Black Stars had come from behind to secure a win in the ongoing 2026 World Cup Qualifiers
  • Here are the five key takeaways from the exhilarating match, which produced seven goals, with two players bagging a hat-trick

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Jordan Ayew delivered a sensational hat-trick to lead Ghana to a dramatic comeback victory against the Central African Republic at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

The Crystal Palace forward, who has been in exceptional form since Otto Addo took charge of the national team, showcased his prowess in Monday night's crucial World Cup Qualifier.

Ghana, Central African Republic, Black Stars, Jordan Ayew, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Otto Addo.
Jordan Ayew and his Black Stars teammates celebrated their goals against the Central African Republic on Sunday, June 10. Photos by @GhanaBlackstars.
Source: Twitter

Ayew opened the scoring with a penalty just six minutes into the game.

However, Louis Mafouta quickly equalised and then put the Wild Beasts ahead four minutes before halftime, much to the chagrin of the home crowd.

Despite this setback, Ghana, under Otto Addo's inspired leadership, managed to overturn the scoreline within nine minutes, beginning their resurgence in the 60th minute.

5 things we learned from Ghana vs CAR

Sports Brief highlights five key takeaways from this thrilling match, which propels Ghana to the top of Group I as they continue their quest to secure a spot in the World Cup.

1. Jordan Ayew is reborn under Otto Addo

The 32-year-old has been a completely different animal since the former Borussia Dortmund trainer scout took over the West African nation, scoring six goals in the four games under Addo.

Replacing Antoine Semenyo in the starting lineup after his match-winner against Mali, Jordan repaid the confidence reposed in him with an impressive treble.

His first goal put Ghana on the cusp of three precious points, but the Central African Republic threatened to be the ultimate party pooper. However, Jordan had other ideas, notching two more in the second half.

His work ethic has always been his stock in trade, but it appears he has discovered his scoring boots under the new coach.

2. Ghana far from a finished article

At the end of 90 minutes, the Black Stars secured the three points, but it was a narrow escape.

At 1-0, Ghana seemed to be in control, but some careless errors and miscommunication in the defence allowed the visitors back into the game, giving them their first lead.

However, the West Africans managed to equalise and then extend their lead to 4–2. Yet, more unnecessary defensive mistakes led to Mafouta scoring from a free kick, helping him match Jordan Ayew's hat-trick.

The home side was left anxious as the game ended 4-3.

The match could have gone either way, and the Central African Republic will feel they deserved at least a point.

3. Addo's second half does the trick again

Judging by his team's second-half performances, it seems Otto Addo has taken a page from Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid playbook.

In the four matches Ghana has played under the 49-year-old coach, the Black Stars have netted nine goals—six of them coming after halftime, with just three scored in the first half.

This knack for finding the net in the latter stages of the game is a hallmark of Los Blancos, often described as magical.

It seems this so-called magic from the Spanish capital has extended its influence to the shores of West Africa.

4. CAR will cause more problems

While they may lack the star power of Ghana or other top African teams, the Central African Republic are formidable opponents.

It’s no surprise they've found the net in every match since a scoreless draw with Sudan in March 2022.

In this game (vs. the Black Stars), they posed significant challenges for the four-time African champions with every attack.

To some extent, had luck and officiating favoured them, the Wild Beasts might have left the Baba Yara Sports Stadium with at least a point.

They broke through Ghana's defence with relative ease, creating five goal-scoring opportunities, four of which were on target and found the net, showcasing their clinical finishing.

5. Change of formation did not help

Otto Addo initially set up his side in a 3-4-2-1 formation with a low block for the away match against Mali.

However, four days later, for the home game against the Central African Republic, he switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation to adopt a more attacking approach.

While they doubled their goal tally from the previous game, the Black Stars conceded three goals, highlighting defensive vulnerabilities.

Comparing the two systems, the three-back system provided better protection for Mohammed Salisu and Alexander Djiku's central defensive partnership. In contrast, the traditional four-back system left them exposed.

Defensively, Addo's team was in disarray, with CAR easily penetrating the backline. Abdul Salis Samed and Thomas Partey offered minimal shielding in front of the defence.

Moving forward, Otto might need to either stick with the back-three for more compactness or adjust his central defensive pairing or midfield duo.

Benin stun Nigeria in comeback win

In Abidjan, Benin shocked Nigeria with a 2-1 comeback victory in World Cup qualifying on Monday, as reported by Sports Brief.

The stunning result was especially gratifying for Benin coach Gernot Rohr, who was dismissed by Nigeria in 2021 after a five-year tenure.

The win propelled the Squirrels, ranked 67 places below Nigeria, to the top of Group C with seven points, two ahead of Lesotho.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.