Ghana kicked off qualifying for the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon with an emphatic 5-0 win over Ethiopia at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
Asamoah Gyan put the Black Stars ahead with his 50th goal for the senior national team, heading home Thomas Agyapong’s cross in the 10th minute.
John Boye scored the second with a brilliant shot on the turn in the box before Ebenezer Ofori rifled home a beauty from outside the box to put the Stars in total control at the break.
The Black Stars continued where they left off in the second half as highly-rated Raphael Dwamena poked home after Andre Ayew’s shot was saved.
Dwamena got his second of the game and despite a late rally from the Ethiopians, drawing a few good saves from Richard Ofori, the Black Stars never looked like faltering.
The big news before the game was whether Kwesi Appiah, taking charge of his first competitive game since his reappointment would start Gyan upfront given the good recent form of Jordan Ayew.
Gyan was picked to lead the line with Raphael Dwamena while Andre Ayew and Thomas Partey retained their places in the starting line-up.
Richard Ofori was picked ahead of Joseph Addo in goal, behind Appiah’s preferred central defensive partnership of John Boye and Daniel Amartey.
The Stars began the game brightly, dominating possession and restricting the Ethiopians to long punts up the field to relieve the pressure. However, a goal seemed inevitable, almost as much as the scorer, as skipper Gyan got ahead of his marker to head home, via a massive deflection off an Ethiopian defender.
The Stars doubled their lead almost immediately as centre-back John Boye controlled the ball and fired home brilliantly on the turn.
The Ethiopians had hardly mustered a shot on goal at that point and were left with half chances which the Ghana defence dealt with creditably. With four minutes until half-time, the game was virtually sealed as a contest as Ebenezer Ofori cut in a fired home to give the Stars a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time.
After the break, the Black Stars maintained their dominance, with Raphael Dwamena scoring his first competitive goals for the national team.
He poked in on the rebound for his first and profited from some bad defending for his second.
Black Stars XI: Richard Ofori, Harrison Afful, Lumor Agbenyenu, John Boye, Daniel Amartey, Ebenezer Ofori, Thomas Agyepong, Thomas Partey, Asamoah Gyan (C), Raphael Dwamena, Andre Ayew:
Subs: Majeed Waris, Jordan Ayew, Jonathan Mensah, Afriyie Acquah, Frank Acheampong, Joseph Addo
Ethiopia XI: Abel, Tesfaye, Kasim, Tamene, Tefaye, Panom, Mesfin, Bekele, Giday, Okwury, Getaneh
Watch all the goals below: