Hosts Ghana defeated Guinea 2-0 in their first group game at the 2017 West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations at the Cape Coast Stadium on Thursday.
After a close contest in the first half, the Black Stars broke the deadlock just three minutes after the restart through Berekum Chelsea forward Stephen Sarfo who slammed home Felix Addo’s cross from an acute angle.
The Ghanaians who only got to this stage courtesy of a controversial victory over The Gambia on Saturday doubled their advantage 13 minutes from time through substitute Kwame Kizito. The Hearts of Oak striker headed home Patrick Razak’s header within five minutes of him replacing first goalscorer Sarfo.
Ghana now lead Group A with three points after Nigeria and Mali cancelled each other out in the day’s first game.
The Malian Eagles dominated for greater periods but could not find the finishing touch to breach Nigerian goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa who kept his second clean sheet in as many games.
Mandala Konte had the game’s best chance when he rounded Ezenwa with 22 minutes left on the clock but defender Olamilekan Aniyikaye, playing his first game for the team cleared off the goal line.
Mali will face Ghana in their next group game on Saturday while Nigeria take on Guinea in the day’s opening contest.