Ghana continued their smooth progress towards next year’s Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-1 Group H qualifying win over Mozambique in Accra.
Avram Grant’s team were without captain Asamoah Gyan and fellow influential forward Andre Ayew due to injury, but the latter’s replacement – in-form Anderlecht winger Frank Acheampong – opened the scoring in the fourth minute.
Acheampong raced on to Abdul Majeed Waris’ pass to produce an assured finish, although he picked up a knock towards the end of the half and made way for Leicester City’s Jeffrey Schlupp at the interval.
Following some uneasy moments for the hosts during the opening 45 minutes – Mozambique’s lack of cutting edge in attack letting them down – defender John Boye scrambled home after both the visitors’ attempts to clear a corner and appeals for offside were unsuccessful.
Jordan Ayew made it two goals in three minutes before the hour, the Aston Villa forward darting on to a long ball and producing a deft, lobbed finish.
Mozambique got themselves on the scoresheet in the 67th minute when Apson Manjate powered home a header but the forward’s effort would prove to be little more than a consolation.
Ghana forward Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu had a strong penalty appeal turned down during the closing stages and Mozambique will be up against it once more when the sides square off again in Maputo on Sunday.
Grant’s team boast a perfect record of three wins from three midway through the round robin, giving them a six-point lead over Rwanda and Mauritius, who face each other on Saturday.