Mubarak Wakaso stepped up in place of Asamoah Gyan to bury a 38th-minute penalty and give Ghana a 1-0 win over Mali at the African Cup of Nations on Thursday.
Wakaso's strike put Ghana's Group B campaign on track after the title contender blew a 2-0 lead to draw its opener against Congo.
He capitalized from the spot at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after Emmanuel Agyemang Badu was fouled by Adama Tamboura 10 minutes before halftime.
Captain Gyan decided before the tournament not to take penalties after a run of misses, leaving the young Wakaso to sweep his left-foot penalty home and then celebrate by showing a religious slogan on a T-shirt that could land him in trouble.
Mali went closest with an early free kick from captain Seydou Keita.