Andre Ayew converted a first-half penalty as Ghana started their latest bid to reclaim the Africa Cup of Nations title with a hard-earned 1-0 victory against Uganda in Port-Gentil on Tuesday.
The West Ham United star’s 32nd-minute conversion from the spot was all that separated the sides on an awful pitch as Ghana withstood Ugandan pressure in the second half and ended their recent poor record against the Cranes.
The Black Stars, who have not won the continental title since 1982 and lost on penalties to the Ivory Coast in the final two years ago, can now look forward with confidence to their next game against Mali.
Meanwhile, Uganda will have to wait a little longer for their first goal and points in their first appearance at the Cup of Nations since 1978.
Mali and record seven-time champions Egypt meet later on Tuesday, at 8pm local time (1900 GMT).
Eight of Ghana’s line-up started the final in Equatorial Guinea in 2015, the only exceptions being Thomas Partey, Jordan Ayew and Leicester City’s Daniel Amartey.
Ghana had struggled in recent matches against Milutin Sredojevic’s side, failing to win any of three encounters spread over the qualifiers for the 2015 Cup of Nations and the 2018 World Cup.