World Cup 2026Q: Jordan Ayew scores late winner as Ghana beat Mali in Bamako

Jordan Ayew came off the bench to score a dramatic winner for Ghana as they beat Mali in Bamako on Thursday evening.

The Black Stars recorded a 1-2 win over the Eagles to move joint-top of Group I of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers as they earned their first win in six games.

Ernest Nuamah scored for Ghana after the break to make it 1-1 before Jordan netted the winner late in added time.

Mali started the game on the strong foot chasing an early goal but Lawrence Ati-Zigi pulled off brilliant saves to deny the Eagles.

The goalkeeper first came up big in the fifth minute of the game after a left-footed shot from a Malian attacker before pushing away an effort from a corner.

Ghana’s first shot in the game came in the 16th minute but Mohammed Kudus’ strike went over the crossbar.

Ghana grew into the game from there and had a couple of chances but Kudus, for the second time, shot wide before Antoine Semenyo’s shot across goal beat everyone.

Just when the game seemed to be heading for a draw at the break, Mali found the opener.

Kamory Doubia made contact with the ball after it deflected off Alexander Djiku from his earlier strike to give Mali the lead in added minutes.

The game went into break with the Eagles in the lead.

The Black Stars almost got an equaliser just after the recess but Antoine Semenyo couldn’t get enough of Tariq Lamptey’s low cross.

However, there was no denying Ernest Nuamah in the 58th minute.

The Olympique Lyon forward rose highest to head home Salis Abdul Samed’s brilliant cross to draw Ghana level.

Thomas Partey should have grabbed the winning goal for Otto Addo’s side just before added time but the Arsenal midfielder’s effort from a one-on-one situation was saved by the Malian goalkeeper.

With just minutes away from full time, Ghana surged forward chasing their second goal of the game.

The ball fell to Jordan who fired past the Malian defence to snatch all three points for the Black Stars.

The win means Ghana now has six points from three games and find themselves behind Comoros, who lead due to goal superiority.

The Black Stars will face Central African Republic at the Baba Yara Stadium on matchday four of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying series.

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