2022 CHAN Qualifiers: Ghana records 3-0 win over Benin in first leg

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Ghana took a giant step towards qualifying for the next round of the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers after recording a comfortable first-leg victory over Benin on Sunday.

The Black Galaxies put up a very clinical performance at the Cape Coast Stadium, with goals from Hearts of Oak trio Daniel Afriyieh Barnieh, Mohammed Alhassan and Gladson Awako sealing a 3-0 win.

Coach Annor Walker named a very strong starting line-up, with Danlad Ibrahim flanked by the defensive quartet of Augustine Randolph, Imoro Ibrahim, Mohammed Alhassan and Konadu Yiadom.

Razak Kasim partnered Suraj Seidu in the middle of the park, while Evans Osei Wusu, Gladson Awako and Jonah Attuaquaye provided support for Daniel Afriyie Barnieh in attack.

The Black Galaxies didn’t particularly start on the front foot, but they got into their stride as the minutes wore on.

Hearts of Oak star Barnieh was the first to test the Beninois goalkeeper after striking the ball from long range but it was tipped over for a corner kick.

Benin occasionally scared the hosts with some half chances but their efforts were undone in the 25th minute when a cross from Owusu struck the hand of defender, leading to a penalty.

Barnieh stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to open the scoring. Ghana thought they’d gone 2-0 up late in the first half after Jonah Attuquaye’s deflected shot ended at the back of the net.

However, the referee shockingly disallowed the goal despite his assistant not raising his flag to signal an infringement or offside.

There was, however, no denying of the Black Galaxies in the second half as Mohammed Alhassan slammed home from a rebound to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute.

Skipper Awako added a third late in the game to seal a comfortable win for Ghana in the first leg of the qualifying fixture.

Meanwhile, the second leg is scheduled for next week in Cotonou as Ghana aims to finish the job and advance to the next stage of the CHAN qualifiers, where Nigeria awaits.