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Ayew hits hat-trick for Ghana in World Cup qualifier

Jordan Ayew playing for Ghana
[Getty Images]

Crystal Palace forward Jordan Ayew marked his 100th cap for Ghana with a hat-trick in their 2026 World Cup qualifying match against Central African Republic.

The 32-year-old put Ghana ahead with an early penalty, but the Black Stars trailed 2-1 at the break after the visitors took advantage of defensive frailties.

Ayew netted twice in the second half and the West Africans eventually saw out a win to go top of Group I with a 4-3 victory.

The nine group winners at the end of the 10-game campaign will all seal spots at the expanded 2026 tournament, while a 10th African side could reach the finals in the United States, Mexico and Canada via an intercontinental competition.

The fourth round of matches culminates on Tuesday, after which the qualifiers will resume again in March 2025.