Andre Ayew’s first half goal from the spot was all Ghana needed to start their campaign on a positive note, beating Uganda 1-0 in their Group D opener on Tuesday in Port Gentil.
The West Ham United winger Ayew kept his nerves to score what proved to be the game’s only goal from the spot after 32 minutes.
The Black Stars took an early lead in the group, waiting the secong game between Mali and Egypt later at the same venue.
Uganda who are returning to the continent’s flagship tournament after a 39-year absence started the game on a high note, and Tony Maweje saw his long range effort causing no problems to Ghana’s goalkeeper Razak Brimah.
But Ghana took the upper hand from now on, with winger Christian Atsu being the master of his side’s speedy attacks. Atsu provided Andre Ayew, his brother Jordan and captain Asamoah Gyan with numerous crosses that missed the target every time. The West Africans best chance fell to the Ayew brothers, when Jordan beat his marker to find Andre, but the latter’s shot was stopped by Denis Onyango in thee Uganda post.
After 31 minutes, Atsu passed to Gyan who was fouled inside the vital area by Isaac Insinde, and from the spot Andre Ayew made no mistake.
The second half was a different story as Uganda waved off their first half shaky performance to threat Ghana’s defense more than once. Maweje, Farouk Miya and captain Geofrey Masa all tried their luck but missed the clinical touch.
And the last word was to be Atsu’s once again, as the winger weaved past his marker to strike, but for Onyango to make the save five minutes from time.