IN a 2022 World Cup qualifier played the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Ghana’s Black Stars kept their hunt alive by going top of Group G, pending South Africa’s match against Ethiopia later Tuesday, after beating hosts Zimbabwe by a solitary goal.
Zimbabwe currently sit bottom of the group with one point from four games played.
The result marked an improvement on their last meeting with Ghana where they lost 3-1, Knowledge Musona was the scorer of their only goal in the World Cup qualifiers so far. Arsenal’s Thomas Partey was on the scoresheet in the 3-1 win and it was a similar situation today.
He opened the scoring in the 31 st minute with a curling effort past Talbert Shumba in the Zimbabwean goal. An effort he possibly should have done better with.
Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba operated as one of the two midfielders in a double pivot within a 4-2-3-1 formation, a system which he is familiar with following Dean Smith’s fondness of it in the 2020/21 season where Nakamba made 13
Ghana captain of the day Thomas Partey scored the lone goal with a well taken freekick from the edge of the box to send his side to nine points on top of the standings, two ahead of South Africa.
Partey struck the vital goal in the 31st minute when his effort curled over the wall and caught keeper Talbert Shumba off guard. Prior to that, Ghana had come close twice, first Kamal Deen Sulemana wriggling his way into the box from the left but his shot was saved.
Mohamed Kudus also had an effort from distance, but it flew inches wide.
Zimbabwe tried to push themselves back into the game in the second half, but Ghana were tactically disciplined and guarded the single goal advantage.
With two rounds of matches left, Zimbabwe are out of contention with only a point from four matches.
Zimbabwe have never qualified for the World Cup but have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations five times. They have also won the COSAFA Cup a record six times which is an annual tournament for teams in Southern Africa which is organised by the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations.