Kudus inspires Ghana to clinch AFCON qualification, Angola secure spot


Ghana booked their place at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d'Ivoire 2023, after a dramatic 2-1 comeback win over Central African Republic on Thursday.

Trailing to Louis Mafouta's first-half goal in Kumasi, the Black Stars were staring elimination in the face.

But West Ham's Mohammed Kudus stepped up to curl home a vital free-kick just before the break to level the scores.

The 23-year-old's clutch intervention sparked wild celebrations as qualification edged closer.

The midfielder was mobbed by teammates after sparking wild celebrations from the home fans.

Ghana completed the turnaround late on when substitute Ernest Nuamah tapped home to make it 2-1.

The victory saw Ghana top Group E, with Angola joining them in qualifying after a 0-0 draw with Madagascar.

The results means Central African Republic finish third despite leading just before half-time of the game in Kumasi

They will be devastated to miss out on a first ever Nations Cup appearance after being ahead at half-time.

But Chris Hughton's Ghana side ultimately got the job done to book their place at next year's finals in Cote d'Ivoire.

Kudus, who recently joined West Ham from Ajax , proved the hero with his equalising free-kick.

Meanwhile, Angola secured their return to the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations after holding Madagascar to a 0-0 draw in the group's other game on Thursday.

Needing just a point to finish second in Group E, the Palancas Negras comfortably held on to book their spot.

It means Angola will feature at their first AFCON since 2013 after missing the last three tournaments.

Their resilience frustrated a Madagascar side who needed a win to stand any chance of qualifying.

The result also eliminated Central African Republic, who were hoping to stun the group winners Ghana.