Ghana’s Black Stars on Tuesday afternoon handed out a 6-1 thrashing to the Pharaohs of Egypt at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
The match was the first leg of the final 2014 World Cup qualifying playoff and Egypt was expected to give stiff opposition to Ghana, but within 4 minutes the Black Stars were ahead.
Abdul Majeed Waris, who had an excellent game, fed strike partner Asamoah Gyan. The team captain outpaced his marker and fired across Sherif Ekramy for the opener.
The Pharaohs tried to fight back but the central midfield duo of Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari held firm. Soon, it was 2-0 as Andre Ayew seized on a loose ball and fed Essien.
With Gyan holding his run, the Chelsea midfielder beat Mohammed Naguib and Hossam Ghaly, but the ball spilled through to Egypt captain Wael Gomaa, who, in an attempt to clear the ball, kicked the ball into his own net for an own goal.
Egypt began to make inroads into the game and five minutes to half time were rewarded. A long ball from Ekramy saw Mohammed Salah go down in the penalty area from a Rashid Sumaila challenge.
Mohammed Aboutreika converted the resultant penalty but the Black Stars restored the two-goal lead four minutes later. A free kick from Muntari was headed home by Waris to spark wild celebrations from the partisan crowd.
If the fans thought the Black Stars were going to take their foot off the gas in the second half, they were mistaken as nine minutes in, an attempted bicycle kick by Muntari found Gyan, who headed home his second goal of the match and 39th goal in 76 appearances for the Black Stars.
The Pharaohs tried to get back into the game but Waris kept troubling the Egypt defence and in one such move, he was brought down by substitute goalkeeper Ahmed Al Shenawy.
Muntari capped off a fine performance with a well converted penalty to put Ghana 5-1 up. 4
There was still time for a sixth as Christian Atsu, on for Andre Ayew, cut in from the right flank and fired a shot that went in off the post.
Ghana has thus taken a giant step towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, with the second leg match on November 19 expected to be little more than a formality.
Ghana starting lineup: Dauda – Inkoom, Akaminko, Sumaila, Opare – Muntari/Wakaso, Essien –Ayew/Atsu, Gyan/Agyemang Badu, Kwadwo Asamoah – Waris
Egypt: Sherif Ekramy, Ahmed Fathi, Wael Gomaa, Mohamed Nagieb, Qinawi Ahmad Shedid, Waleed Soliman, Hossam Ghaly, H Ashour, Mohamed El-Nenny, Mohamed Aboutriaka, Mohamed Salah
Referee: Bouchaib El Ahrach (Morocco)