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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Ghana edge closer to Germany 2006
Matthew Amoah
Matthew Amoah sealed victory for Ghana's Black Stars
Ghana have one foot in next year's World Cup finals after defeating Uganda 2-0 in Kumasi on Sunday.

Thanks to goals from Michael Essien and Matthew Amoah, the Black Stars top Group Two with eighteen points, three clear of DR Congo and South Africa.

The Ghanaian victory means that 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa can no longer qualify for Germany.

Bafana Bafana have a worse head-to-head record than Ghana so can no longer top the table.

The only team who can catch the Black Stars are DR Congo's Simbas.

Ghana and DR Congo have a matched head-to-head record, after their two fixtures ended in draws, so should Ghana lose in Cape Verde and DR Congo win in South Africa next month, the group would be decided by goal difference.

Yet should the Black Stars avoid defeat in Cape Verde, the four-time African champions will qualify for their first World Cup finals.

South Africa's hopes of World Cup qualification were ruined when losing 3-1 to Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou on Saturday.

The visitors needed victory to stay in contention for a place in Germany, but they were swept aside by an inspired display from the home team.

Abdoulaye Cisse scored twice and Kebe Yahia grabbed the other as the Stallions dominated the disjointed visitors.

The South African face-saver came from substitute Sibusiso Zuma.

Burkina Faso's French coach Bernard Simondi could not contain his happiness at the final whistle.

"I was thrilled not only by the result, but the manner in which it was achieved. We played some very good football and outplayed one of the best national teams on the continent."

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter slammed his players after the defeat: "They could not cope with the situation and that was our biggest problem," he said.

"A couple of the Burkinabe goals were gifts and I feel extremely disappointed for the people of South Africa.

"Had we lost this qualifier playing football I could live with the result, but this was no way to go down. Every time our opponents played a long ball, we were struggling."

Bafana Bafana lie third in Group Two, behind leaders Ghana and second-placed DR Congo.


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