Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey scored a hat-trick as Ghana hammered Congo 5-1 in Brazzaville Tuesday to keep alive their slim 2018 World Cup qualification hopes.
Serbia-based Richmond Boakye bagged a brace as the Black Stars achieved their biggest away winning margin in an eliminator since a 4-0 triumph over Cape Verde 12 years ago.
Vladis-Emmerson Illoy-Ayyet scored for Congo, who entered the Group E match at Stade Kintele confident of success after holding Ghana 1-1 in Kumasi last Friday.
The crucial goal came two minutes into first-half stoppage time when Partey ran on to a pass and rifled a right-foot shot past goalkeeper Barel Mouko from a tight angle.
It gave Ghana a 3-1 half-time advantage and the lead was rarely threatened in the second half as Congo slumped to a record home defeat in a World Cup qualifier.
Ghana coasted to maximum points despite lacking two injured stalwarts, West Ham United midfielder Andre Ayew and Turkey-based striker Asamoah Gyan.
— Ghana FA ?? (@ghanafaofficial) September 5, 2017
World Cup Africa zone state of play
Contenders and eliminated teams after matchday 4 of World Cup qualifying in Africa:
Contenders: Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo
Eliminated: Guinea, Libya
Contenders: Nigeria, Zambia
Eliminated: Cameroon, Algeria
Contenders: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Gabon, Mali
Contenders: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Senegal, South Africa
Contenders: Egypt, Uganda, Ghana
Eliminated: Congo Brazzaville
Note: group winners qualify for 2018 World Cup in Russia