Wakaso stunner downs Comoros

Maybe truly, there are no longer minows left in African football. Over two legs  and 180 minutes spread over a five day period at opposite ends of the continent, Comoros went toe to toe with Ghana and left the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi with their heads held high, their pride firmly in place and their reputation on a football mad continent enhanced.

The Black Stars got the important outcome from those two games; a 2-0 win, a place in the final qualifying round of the 2018 World Cup. It means they are very much alive in the journey to Russia 2018 and on course to equal Cameroon’s enviable record of four straight world cup final appearances.

But this was hard work, the sort of graft no one envisaged when Comoros scored a late goal against Lesotho to set up the two leg encounter. We all said ‘cool chop’.

At a wet and reasonably full Baba Yara Stadium, it proved to be far from that. In the first leg Comoros were robbed by a bad offside call. Here in Kumasi, they robbed themselves with some really poor finishing.

The tone of poor finishing was set in motion by Ghana though and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu in particular. Five minutes into the game, he could have rattled Comoros and leave them shaken early. Instead he heaped frustration on a home crowd that had come in expectation of a goalfest.

Asamoah Gyan played Badu through with a delightful ball. The angle was against the Udinese man and with at least three Ghanaian players in the box, there seemed to be only one option; a pass. Instead he went for goal, blasting his effort way over.

Ghana’s game afterwards was on the level of foreplay; touches and passes in no man’s land and no penetration when it mattered most to yield results.

That was until Mubarak Wakasso decided enough was enough. Gyan won a free kick on the edge of the box and with one side of the net yawning, the Las Palmas midfielder picked his spot masterfully, smashing it into the top right corner.

The expectation was that the floodgates had been opened but it never was. And when the heavens opened up at half time, it seemed to be the cue to Comoros to go forward. Their captain shot feebly when presented with an opportunity as Ghana went in search of the security goal, they left too many gaps at the back which Comoros was more than happy to exploit.

It got even more nervous towards the end until Jordan Ayew showed real persistence to smash one in. His brother Andre said afterwards that even though qualification was sealed, it had not been with style the way Ghana should. The alternative view will be that Comoros showed no game is easy in African football again.

This victory means the Black Stars will join twenty other countries for a draw for the final qualifier to Russia 2018.

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