Ghana got off to a flying start in their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign as they cruised to a 2-0 victory at home against 10-man Malawi on Saturday.
A goal each inside the first 10 minutes of either half put the game out of reach for the home side, as the Black Stars hold onto a good lead ahead of the return match.
Goals from Christian Atsu and Anthony Annan in the interval made it a good result for Ghana at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Any fears that it could have been a tricky afternoon for Kwesi Appiah’s men in the first leg of the final round match were evident as the Flames stayed compact and occasionally broke away on the counter.
Despite lots of possession, the scoreline proved to be unfair for the Black Stars.
Atsu who was starting in his first home match for Ghana, handed the Black Stars a perfect start when he tapped-in from close range after 8 minutes from an Andre Ayew shot.
The midfielder instantly settled into the game, creating many chances but could not find the back of the net again.
Ghana, stepped up to increase their lead but the Flames made no mistake giving little chance to end the half a goal down.
Anthony Annan after the break doubled the scores for Ghana when he let go a shot from 20 yards out in the 53rd minute.
Ghana’s bench made three changes in the second half as Jordan Ayew, Andre and captain Asamoah Gyan made way for Derek Boateng, debutant Solomon Asante and Emmanuel Clottey.
A late red card for a second bookable offence was shown to defender James Sangala by Algerian referee Benouza Mohammed.
It’ll get much tougher along the road to South Africa, though, victory at home, gives Ghana the upper hand.
The return leg will be played on the weekend of October 12-14 and the 15 winners compete in the finals in South Africa next January along with the host nation.
Starting Line-up: Adam Kwarasey, Daniel Opare, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Isaac Vorsah, Anthony Annan, Christian Atsu, Jordan Ayew/Derek Boateng, Asamoah Gyan/Emmanuel Clottey, Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew/Solomon Asante
Reserves: Samuel Inkoom, Derek Boateng, Jerry Akaminko, Isaac Coffie, Solomon Asante, Emmanuel Clottey, Fatau Dauda