The Black Stars of Ghana got of to a jump start in the race for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, drubbing Egypt 6-1 in Kumasi on Tuesday with Asamoah Gyang grabbing a brace.
Gyang scored the opener before a Michael Essien run led to an own-goal from .
Egypts Mohammed Aboutrika converted a penalty but Majeed Waris headed in Ghana’s third, followed by Gyang’s brace.
Sulley Muntari scored a penalty before Christian Atsu completed the 6-goal routing of coach Bob Bradley’s boys.
After making their debut in the 2006 Germany World Cup, Ghana are much in line for a third successive appearance even as the venue for the return-leg is expected to be disclosed soon, after the West African nation filed their concerns to Fifa on the safety of staging the match in the tension-soaked Egypt.
Away from the tension in Cairo, the North Africans were reduced to underdogs right from the blast of the kick-off whistle at the Babayara Stadium.
Gyan came close to grabbing the opening goal within 20 minutes of the start but his tame effort went straight at Egypt goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy from 12 yards out.
Few minutes later Waris put the Ghana skipper through on goal after an Essien pass and Gyang made no mistake this time, turning smartly to struck a quick low shot into the left bottom corner.
A Kwadwo Asamoah shot went wide of goal and Ekramy made another fine save shortly after, diving low to his left to push out Waris’s header, as the hosts piled up front looking for a second goal.
It came when Chelsea midfielder Essien left two defenders on the floor during a mazy run and his resultant effort ricocheted off Gomaa into Egypt net.
The Ghanaians were the lords on the pitch at that moment, though the visitors stepped up a bit and Aboutrika’s whipped free-kick to the back post found Mohammed Naguib, who headed over.
Mohamed Salah’s pace soon started to trouble Rashid Sumaila and the duo were involved in a goal-area tangle, from which the referee awarded a penalty to Egypt.
Aboutrika stepped up to convert the spot-kick on his 101st appearance for Egypt, sending Fatawu Dauda the wrong way to pull one goal back.
Egypt’s thoughts of a comeback was short lived as Waris restored the two-goal cushion in the 44th minute, heading home Muntari’s cross.
The goal deficit increased again eight minutes after the interval when Egypt failed to clear a corner and Muntari’s bicycle kick attempt bounced up nicely to Gyang to nod in Ghana’s fourth goal.
It was party time in Kumasi for every Ghanaian from that moment. Second-half substitute Ahmed Elshenawi then tripped Waris in the box for Muntari to coolly convert the awarded spot-kick.
Chelsea new boy Atsu rounded off Egypt’s humiliation after coming on in the second-half, driving his fizzing shot from the edge of the area past the Egyptian goalkeeper.