Afcon 2021: Ghana secure qualification after South Africa draw

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Ghana have secured qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations following a 1-1 draw in South Africa on Thursday with one round of group games still to play.

Ajax midfielder Kudus Mohammed scored a brilliant goal to put Black Stars ahead at the FNB Stadium, but Brighton attacker Percy Tau levelled for Bafana Bafana.

The draw means Ghana remain top of Group C with 10 points – the same as South Africa, but a point more than Sudan. Charles Akonnor’s men have a superior record against the two countries – who will face each other in the final round of qualifiers.

Ghana become the 12th country through to the finals next year, joining host nation Cameroon, holders Algeria, Guinea, Senegal, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Comoros, Egypt, Gambia and Gabon.

Bafana Bafana were the best team in the first half, dominating the Black Stars in terms of possession and chances created. Thapelo Morena found himself in a position to score on two occasions but his efforts went into the side net.

In the 20th minute, Black Stars goalkeeper Razak Abalora tipped over the bar a powerful strike by left-back Sifiso Hlanti.

Black Stars only shot on target came from Mubarak Wakaso, whose long-range free-kick was easily saved by Ronwen Williams.

Akonnor’s side came into the second half a different side and it did not take them long to register the first goal of the game. Kudus received a pass from right-back Benson Anang, managed to beat his marker and slotted the ball in off the post from close range.

The lead lasted for only two minutes with Tau finishing off a lightning quick attack to restore parity for the host.

Both teams had a couple of half chances to win the contest but neither took advantage.

Black Stars celebrated their ninth straight qualification to the Cup of Nations at the end of proceedings. South Africa need to avoid defeat against Sudan on Sunday to join Ghana in Cameroon.