The Black Stars of Ghana have booked their ticket for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year after holding South Africa to a 1-1 draw in the penultimate qualifying match in Johannesburg.
Kudus Mohammed finished neatly at the beginning of the second half before Percy Tau levelled just 4 minutes later to share the spoils at the FNB Stadium.
The result effectively sealed Ghana’s qualification to next year’s AFCON with a game to spare.
They face Sao Tome and Principe in Accra in the last Group C game on Sunday. South Africa meanwhile need to beat Sudan in their last group game to secure qualification.1
The Black Stars have now won three, drawn one and lost one of their five matches in the qualifying campaign and are level on 10 points with South Africa.
Sudan are a point further back in third with nine points while Sao Tome and Principe remain bottom without a single point so far.
Why the Black Stars have qualified for the AFCON regardless of the results on Sunday
- With Sudan and South Africa playing each other in the final game, only one of those sides will be able to overtake the Stars if Ghana gets at least a point against Sao Tome and Principe.
- (and if Ghana loses to Sao Tome and Principe in the final game) – a win over Sudan would take South Africa through as group winners, knocking the Sudanese out. Ghana go through as runners-up.
- (and if Ghana loses to Sao Tome and Principe in the final game) – a win over South Africa would take Sudan through as group winners, leaving the Stars level on points with the South Africans. With a better points tally in meetings between the two sides, Ghana still goes through.
- (and if Ghana loses to Sao Tome and Principe in the final game) – a draw between South Africa and Sudan would take South Africa through as group winners. Sudan would then finish level on 10 points with Ghana. Both sides have a win over the other but the Black Stars have a better goal difference in those meetings; beating Sudan 2-0 and losing 1-0.
After Sunday’s game, the Black Stars will turn their attention to the World Cup Qualifiers in June where they’ve again been grouped with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.
Preparation for next year’s AFCON in Cameroon will also start in earnest, with Ghana desperate to end their almost four-decade wait for another African crown.