Ghana began their WAFU title defence in Senegal with a 1-0 victory over Gambia on Tuesday night.

Hearts of Oak attacker Joseph Esso scored the only goal of the game to sealed quarterfinals spot for the defending Champions.

It was an open game in the first 20 minute as both sides tried to find their feet in the game.

Ghana’s captain Shafiu Mumuni nearly broke the deadlock but his 30yards screamer blast of the crossbar.

Ghana came close again after Moro Ibrahim found Benjamin Afutu in the penalty box, but the Hearts of Oak defender’s header went wide.

Black stars B had most of the balls but couldn’t get the breakthrough.

The first half ended 0-0.

Ghana started the second half very well as they go all out in search of the opener, but the Gambians remained well organized at the back.

Maxwell Konadu made his first substitution of the game by introducing Augustine Okrah for Appiah McCarthy as Ghana chase for the opener.

Joseph Esso finaly broke the deadlock of the game in 67th minute, tapping home a good cross by Moro Ibrahim from the left side.

Habib Mohammed was also introduced for Issaka Mohammed as Maxwell Konadu kept it tight at the back.

It could have been 1-1 in the 76th minute, but a timely save by Ofori Antwi denied Cessey’s from getting the leveller.

Justice Blay also came in for Benjamin Afutu.

Gambia had the opportunity to make it 1-1 after the referee awarded them a penalty in the 80th minute.

Charm stepped in and hit the ball on the  woodwork.

Emmanuel Okrah nearly made it 2-0 for Ghana in the added time after he was set up by Fatawu Mohammed, but his feeble shot was stop by the unrushing goalkeeper.

Despite a lot of pressure from Gambia, Ghana held on to their lead till the blast of the full-time whistle.