Black Stars beat Mali in Bamako to restore dream for 2026 World Cup

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On Thursday night in Bamako, Ghana defeated Mali thanks to a spectacular winner from Jordan Ayew, who came off the bench.

With their first victory in six games, the Black Stars defeated the Eagles 1-2 to climb up to joint-top of Group I in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

After the half, Jordan scored the game’s final goal late in extra time, but Ghana’s Ernest Nuamah tied the score at one.

Mali got out to a fast start in the game, hoping to score first, but Lawrence Ati-Zigi made some incredible saves to keep the Eagles at bay.

In the game’s fifth minute, a Malian attacker attempted a left-footed shot, but the goalkeeper initially made a tremendous save before blocking a corner kick attempt.

In the sixteenth minute, Mohammed Kudus attempted to score Ghana’s first goal, but his effort was blocked by the crossbar.

From then on, Ghana gained momentum and had two opportunities, but Kudus missed his second attempt and Antoine Semenyo’s cross-goal shot beat everyone.

Mali scored the first goal right before the half, just when it appeared that the match would end in a draw.

After the ball deflected off Alexander Djiku’s previous strike, Kamory Doubia made touch with it, giving Mali the lead in extra minutes.

With the Eagles leading, the game entered halftime.

Tariq Lamptey’s low cross nearly gave the Black Stars an equalizer just after the break, but Antoine Semenyo was unimpressed.

But in the fifty-eighth minute, Ernest Nuamah was unquestionable.

In order to tie Ghana at one, the Olympique Lyon forward leaped to meet Salis Abdul Samed’s exquisite cross with a headshot.

Just before extended time, Thomas Partey of Arsenal should have scored the game-winning goal for Otto Addo’s team, but the Malian goalie stopped his one-on-one shot.

Minutes from the end of regulation time, Ghana launched an offensive to try and score their second goal of the match.

Jordan stole all three points for the Black Stars as the ball found its way past the Malian defense.

After the victory, Ghana has six points from three games, one more than Comoros, who have the advantage because of superior goal differential.

The Black Stars’ matchday four of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series will take place at Baba Yara Stadium vs Central African Republic.


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