Sports

Inaki Williams Scores Decisive Goal for Black Stars in World Cup Qualifier

Kumasi – In a dramatic conclusion to the 2026 World Cup Qualifier at Baba Yara Stadium on Friday, Inaki Williams of Athletic Bilbao scored the winning goal for Ghana’s Black Stars against Madagascar. Williams’ last-minute header secured a narrow victory for the home team, who struggled throughout the match to overcome the resilient visiting team.

According to Ghana News Agency, Madagascar displayed a strong start, dominating early possession and creating several scoring opportunities within the first few minutes. The visitors’ performance challenged the expectations of many, as Ghana, with both Williams and Antoine Semenyo leading the attack, was anticipated to easily overpower Madagascar, considered one of African football’s less prominent teams.

The Black Stars’ only significant attempt in the first 10 minutes came from Jordan Ayew, whose effort was easily saved by Madagascar’s goalkeeper Melvin Andrien. In contrast, Madagascar’s Dorian Bertrand nearly opened the scoring with a long-range shot, only to be denied by Ghana’s goalkeeper Richard Ofori. Mohammed Kudus of the Black Stars showed brief moments of brilliance, but the team overall failed to impress in the first half.

Ghanaian coach Chris Hughton made strategic substitutions at the start of the second half, hoping to inject more dynamism into the team’s play. The changes resulted in an improved performance from the Black Stars, but the Madagascar defense, led by goalkeeper Andrien, remained steadfast.

The turning point came with the introduction of Nuamah, whose involvement immediately elevated Ghana’s attacking threat. Despite Williams missing an earlier chance created by Nuamah, he eventually found success by heading in a cross from Gideon Mensah, marking his first goal for the Black Stars since his nationality switch.

The goal in the final action of the match brought relief and celebration to the fans, who had anxiously awaited a breakthrough. Williams’ decisive header not only secured a vital win for Ghana but also demonstrated the challenging nature of World Cup qualifiers, where even favored teams can face unexpected resistance.