Ghana were slight favourites for the first leg in Kumasi but the manner of their victory will still come as a shock to most of us. Ghana in previous years have used a similar strategy to the one employed in the 6-1 thrashing of Egypt but rarely have they executed it to such devastating effect.
Ghana set out in the same system as they used in their previous match against Zambia, albeit with wholesale changes to the backline. Sulley Muntari shifted inside from his flank position to partner Michael Essien who has just come out of a long exile. Kwadwo Asamoah also had a change of position with a shift to the left flank after previously partnering the injured Mohammed Rabiu in the middle.
Very early on in the match the Black Stars set the tactical tone for the rest of the match, pressing Egypt, early balls over the top of their defence and direct running at it. When Ghana were in possession of the ball during most fixtures in their 4-4-2 shape, Asamoah Gyan would often look to drop deep towards the midfield to help link play, but on this occasion he stayed higher up the pitch alongside Waris and the pair both looked to run the channels.
At first it looked as though it may be an ineffective tactic to employ since the Egyptians had an extra man in the middle of the park and would crowd out Muntari and Essien, and at times this looked to be the case as a few rushed passes were cut out or went out of play.