Asamoah Gyan and Jordan Ayew both netted braces as Ghana ran out comfortable 7-1 winners over Mauritius in their opening Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Ghana were beaten on penalties by Ivory Coast in this year’s final and they looked determined to make up for that heartache in Sunday’s Group H fixture in Accra.
They had far too much quality for Mauritius, who have only reached the tournament once in their history, back in 1974.
After Christian Atsu put Ghana in front, Ayew netted his first and Gyan scored twice as the home side ran riot in the first half.
JS Piesie pulled one back for the visitors before, with seven minutes still to go until half-time, Ayew doubled his tally.
Mauritius put up more of a fight in the second period but Jeffrey Schlupp scored his first international goal and substitute David Accam netted in stoppage time to make it a magnificent seven for Avram Grant’s side.
The gulf in class became apparent in the early stages and Atsu broke the deadlock in the 10th minute by heading home Harrison Afful’s cross.
Ayew tapped home a low cross six minutes later and midway through the half he turned provider for Gyan to claim his first of the game.
Gyan then headed in from a corner as Ghana raced into a 4-0 lead on the half-hour, but slack marking from a free-kick allowed Piesie to prod home and give the visitors something to shout about.
The four-goal lead was soon re-established, however, as Ayew capitalised on poor defensive work to fire home and midway through the second half, Schlupp’s powerful left-footed strike flew into the bottom-right corner.
Gyan twice wasted golden opportunities to complete his hat-trick in the closing stages, before Accam swept home as the Black Stars began their qualifying campaign with an emphatic victory.
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