Inaki Williams gave Ghana a winning start to World Cup qualifying by scoring deep into injury time Friday to secure a 1-0 victory over Madagascar.
Ghana has qualified for four of the last five World Cups, only missing out in Russia in 2018, and reached the quarterfinals in South Africa in 2010.
The Black Stars were a big favorite at home against Madagascar but manager Chris Hughton’s team struggled to breach the visitors’ organized defense in Kumasi.
Williams finally broke the deadlock with a powerful header after the Spain-born Athletic Bilbao forward had an earlier goal disallowed for offside.
The two teams observed a moment of silence in memory of former Ghana and Levante striker Raphael Dwamena, who collapsed and died on the field last Saturday during an Albanian league game.
Also Friday, Leicester forward Patson Daka scored twice as Zambia defeated Republic of Congo 4-2 at home. Lameck Banda and Fashion Sakala got the other goals for the host in Ndola. Silvère Ganvoula M’Boussy and Mons Bassouamina scored for the Congolese.
Malawi snatched a 1-0 win away to Liberia in Monrovia through a 78th-minute goal by teenager Chifundo Mphasi.
Libya won 1-0 away against Eswatini in a match played in South Africa, Comoros beat Central African Republic 4-2 at home and Guinea edged Uganda 2-1 in Morocco.
Nine teams from Africa will qualify directly for the 48-team 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada. A 10th team could make the field through the playoffs.
- Al Shabab vs Al Nassr highlights, SHB 2-3 NAS, Saudi Pro League: Talisca brace, Ronaldo strike guide Nassr to win and keep title race alive
- Saudi Pro League: Ronaldo scores milestone goal as Al Nassr edges Al Shabab to keep title race alive
- WPL 2024: Gujarat Giants stumbles to five-wicket loss against Mumbai Indians in low-scoring encounter
- Serie A 2023-24: Late Rugani goal gives Juventus 3-2 win over Frosinone
- Carabao Cup final, CHE vs LIV: Van Dijk nets extra-time winner as Liverpool beats Chelsea