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2026 WCQ: Remarkable fighting spirit as Ghana defeat CAR in seven-goal thriller

What a match! Early goal, Mafouta’s shocking response before half-time, the rains, the crowd, and then a Jordan Ayew classic.

The Black Stars could not have asked for this in 90 minutes. But for Central African Republic and their head coach Raoul Savoy, any action that sparked doom for their opponents meant glory to them at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

It was the fourth game for Ghana in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers and victory was non negotiable, after beating Mali last Thursday.

And the fans responded in their numbers, filling the stands in the 40,000 seater arena in Kumasi.

In exceptional fashion, Ghana defeated Central African Republic with a 4-3 result. Surprising, right?

Hold on! It was a game of two halves; One for Raoul Savoy’s tactical observations and response, and the other for Ghana’s Otto Addo and his reactive tactical prowess.

The game

Ghana struck first with Jordan Ayew’s penalty after Kamaldeen Sulemana was fouled in the CAR 18-yard box.

Cool, calm and focused, the Crystal Palace forward scored in the 6th minute.

Then Savoy’s charges who had been announcing their moves with long balls for the first 10 minutes were finally, warmly rewarded.

In the 11th minute, a well-struck long ball from the Central African midfield found Mafouta upfront who went pass Ghana’s central defence and he slotted home perfectly.

Mafouta was not done. He bagged the second from a counter-attacking situation to put CAR ahead with half time approaching.

Ghana failed to equalize and had 45 minutes to find a response for the buoyant crowd.

Wingers, Kamaldeen Sulemana and Fatawu Issahaku switched positions and the Black Stars began to attack the flanks.

A cross from the left side of attack provided the leveller from Jordan in the 60th minute and Fatawu smashed one from the right to put Ghana ahead two minutes later.

Then from the right wing again, Jordan Ayew had a tap-in to extend the hosts’ lead in the 69th minute, also from Fatawu’s brilliance and trickery.

Dejected and surprised, the Wild Beasts had to regroup and attack again but Ghana defended in numbers, forcing them to flanks where they won freekicks in dangerous positions.

As a result, Mafouta fired a strong effort beating Lawrence Ati-Zigi to place the visitors back in the clash at 90 minutes of game-play.

Ghana run out winners of the tie and will now focus on their subsequent World Cup qualifiers.

The Black Stars top group I with nine points awaiting results of the Madagascar – Comoros game on Tuesday.

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