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Sports News of Monday, 1 March 1999

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Soccer-Black Stars rout Eritrea 5-0

Accra, (Greater Accra) 1 March, '99--

Ghana's international star, Yaw Preko scored a hat-trick as the national senior team, the Black Stars whacked war-torn Eritrea 5-0 in their group one Africa Cup Nations' qualifying match played at the Accra sports stadium in Accra tonight. The result put the Stars on top of the group's table with nine points from three matches, having beaten Cameroon 3-1 and Mozambique 1-0 in the two previous encounters Striker Augustine Arhinful opened the floodgates in the fifth minute. Preko took his turn in (27th, 56th, 84th) and Peter Ofori-Quaye (68) to send off the Eritreans. In a one-sided match, the Stars took control from the kick- off and had the opener as early as the fifth minute through Arhinful from a well-taken corner kick by inside right Stephen Appiah. Galvanised by that early goal, the Stars, backed by their drum-beating supporters, entertained the sizeable stadium fans with crisp passes and inter-positional changes, forcing their opponents to race after their own shadows. Preko made it 2-0 in the 27th minute with a long drive. It was a quick counter attack initiated by right full back Chirstain Atta Gyan, who laid on a pass for Preko to deliver a long range shot into the roof of the net. Skipper Charles Akunnor was booked in the 33rd minute for time wasting and seven minutes later inside right Maissiu Berhamie of Eritrea also took his turn for a reckless tackle. Before the commencement of the second half, the Eritreans brought on Tedros Olmichel for striker Efriem Melles but it was the Stars, who scored a third goal in the 56th minute. A beautiful two-man move between midfielder Mark Edusei and Arhinful split the Eritrean defence for Preko to take advantage of a lose ball and bang it into the net. Outside left Peter Ofori-Quaye, who had a quiet day scored the fourth for Ghana after he had beaten the entire defence of the opponents and released a pile-driver inside the "18" in the 68th minute. Appiah gave way to Patrick Allotey a minute after the goal while Otto Addo came on for Ofori Quaye in the 72nd minute. The substitution paid off as Preko scored his personal third and the fifth for Ghana in the 84th minute. Line-up : Ghana - Richard Kingston, Christian Gyan, Stephen Baidoo, Osei Kuffour, Eben Dugbartey, Stephen Appiah/Patrick Allotey, Mark Edusei, Charles Akunnor/Otto Addo, Yaw Preko, Augustine Arhinful and Peter Ofori-Quaye/Felix Aboaye Eritrea - Berhanie Arayia, Elias Debessay, Efriem Tewelde, Efrimi Beyine, Amanuel Eyassue, Abel Afwerke/Mana Mebratue, Natnael Mesfin, Maissiu Melles/Tedros Olmichel, Yedneskashow Shenmagues/Isaac Beyeme and Yonas Mengestab. Scorers: Ghana- Augustine Arhinful (5), Yaw Preko (27, 56, 84) Peter Ofori-Quaye (68).