Ghana enhanced its chances of reaching the next round of African Nations Championship qualifiers with a 3-0 win over Benin at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
The Black Galaxies, playing at home scored in both halves of the game to beat the the Junior Squirrels in the first leg match of the first round fixture.
Ghana seeking a place in the next year’s competition to be hosted by Algeria got the goals through Hearts of Oak trio Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, Mohammed Alhassan and Gladson Awako as the Black Galaxies recorded a first win.
Annor Walker and his team had to endure more than 36 worrying minutes as the search to hit the back of the opponent’s net continued until the Black Stars were awarded a penalty after the ball had hit the arms of the Benin defender.
Afriyie Barnieh, who had been seeking to open his goal account in a Ghana shirt since his debut for the main national team stepped up for the kick and the Hearts of Oak striker scored from the spot to secure the lead.
Ghana kept on pushing for more goals but the 36th minute goal from the spot kick separated both sides as the first half came to end.
The Black Galaxies’ second goal came early after recess with Mohamed Alhassan delivering a fantastic goal.
After the 48th minute goal, both Ghana and Benin failed to turn domination into goals with the two sides missing clear chances until the 81st minute where Gladson Awako stunned the visitors with a brilliant curler to give Ghana the third goal before he was subbed for his teammate, Dennis Korsah.
The 2nd leg of this encounter will take place next week at the Stade de l’Amitié General Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou, Benin.
The overall winner will face Nigeria in the next round of the qualifiers in August.