World Cup 2026 Qualifiers: Five Key takeaways from Ghana’s victory over Mali

1. Ghana Wins Their First Away Game Since 2022

On matchday three of their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, the Black Stars defeated the Eagles of Mali 2-1 on the road. This victory snaps Ghana's 10-match winless record in all competitions and is the team's first away win in a competitive match since 2022 against Zimbabwe in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Ghana needed a minimum of a draw to maintain their World Cup ambitions after a depressing 1-0 loss to Comoros. The squad now has six points out of nine after three games under Coach Otto Addo, who was in charge for his first competitive game, revitalizing their chances of qualifying.

2. Effective Substitutions Propel Ghana to Victory

Otto Addo's strategic second-half substitutions were instrumental in turning the game around for Ghana.

Trailing by a goal, the Black Stars dominated the second half with increased pressure and more balanced play. The introductions of Jordan Ayew, Ibrahim Sulemana, Elisha Owusu, and a more advanced role for Thomas Partey proved effective, leading to a comeback victory in Bamako.


3. Antoine Semenyo Struggles to Convert Chances

Bournemouth striker Antoine Semenyo had multiple opportunities to score but was once again wasteful in front of goal.

Similar issues were observed in the previous match against Comoros, where he failed to capitalize on scoring chances, contributing to the team's defeat.


4. Mohammed Kudus Off His Game

Mohammed Kudus, usually a key player for Ghana, delivered a lackluster performance, raising concerns about his fitness.

The West Ham star was a shadow of his usual self, making poor decisions and lacking impact. Coach Otto Addo's decision to substitute him for the experienced Jordan Ayew was a pivotal move that benefited the team.


5. Lawrence Ati-Zigi's Stellar Performance

Goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi was a standout performer, especially in the first half, making crucial saves to keep Ghana in the game.

Despite conceding a goal due to a deflection, Ati-Zigi's efforts were vital in the early stages when Mali applied heavy pressure.

His performance suggests that he deserves continued trust from Coach Otto Addo and goalkeeping coach Fatawu Dauda for the upcoming match against the Central African Republic in Kumasi.


Randy Osei Akoto

A content creator, writer, blogger and digital marketer currently the Editor and writer at Believes in hard work and keeps up with latest trending stories making rounds across the globe in all aspects, from politics, sports, entertainment, health, business etc.

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