World Cup qualifiers: Ghana suffer defeat against South Africa

Ghana suffered their first defeat in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as they were beaten 1-0 by South Africa in Johannesburg.

Maritzburg United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored the only goal of the game at the FNB Stadium as Bafana Bafana secured their first competitive win over Ghana in 21 years.

The result means Black Stars are no longer top of Group G as Bafana Bafana have overtaken them with four points after two matches in the qualifiers. Charles Akonnor have three points.

The Black Stars had the first opportunity of the match in the 10th minute when Joel Fameyeh threaded a ball through for Andre Ayew in the left-hand side of the box but he dragged his effort wide of the right-hand post on his favoured left foot.

It was a physical match and the referee was doing his best to allow the game to flow.

On the half-hour mark, Teboho Mokoena curled a free-kick towards the bottom left corner, which Pirates keeper Richard Ofori pushed away into the path of Mothobi Mvala following up but the Bafana hardman failed to get under his effort as it skied over from the angle.

Bafana were convinced they had taken the lead when Nyiko Mobbie whipped in a peach of a delivery from the left which Percy Tau headed clinically down and into the bottom left corner of the net, but the Bafana talisman’s strike was ruled out even though he appeared to be onside.

Broos would have been wondering how Bafana were not ahead straight after half-time. The influential Mokoena surged down the right and delivered the ball into the box. It was a routine catch for Ofori but he let the ball slip through his legs and straight into the path of Evidence Makgopa, who somehow put it wide on the slide as it appeared to take the Baroka FC striker by surprise.

In the 68th minute, Tau threaded the ball down the left-hand side of the box for Hlongwane, who got to the byline and cut the ball back for Mvala, who controlled and tried an acrobatic overhead kick which went narrowly wide of the right-hand upright as Ghana breathed another sigh of relief.

Richard Ofori fell injured and was replaced by Lawrence Ati-Zigi with 12 minutes left on the clock.

Bafana got the goal they so richly deserved in the 84th minute. The ball was whipped in and Gideon Mensah’s headed clearance went only as far as Teboho Mokoena on the right-hand side and the Bafana playmaker put a brilliant ball back into the box for Hlongwane to complete the tap-in as the Bafana bench and players mobbed one another in relief more than anything.