The gallant Black Stars of Ghana has suffered an excruciating defeat to the Coelacanths of Comoros in a thrilling encounter to draw the curtains on the Group C matches.
The latest 3-2 defeat in the hands of Comoros summed up Black Stars’ shameful outing in the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2022) tournament.
The Black Stars started the match in ernest expectations, knowing that a win against the Comoros minors who currently sit on 132nd position in FIFA ranking will see them progress to the next stage as one of the best third placed teams. With that in mind, the players started attacking from left to right from the first whistle. However, their plans were foiled as the Comoros capitalized on a mistake by the Black Stars and led a counter attack.
Having found space at the edge of the box, the Red Star ace hit a low first-time shot which went past the rooted Joseph Wollacott between the post of Ghana to make it 1-0. It was the islanders’ first ever AFCON goal in their first ever appearance at the AFCON tournament.
The Black Stars almost responded four minutes later when Djiku directed a looping header on goal following Kyereh’s corner, but goalkeeper Ben Boina reacted well to provide a fingertip save, before they cleared the danger.
The Black Stars’ light looked dimmer on 25 minute as all Ghanaian supporters supporting from West African country held their hands to their heads waiting for the outcome of the VAR review following a foul on Ben Boina, as he sought to tap in a rebound after Kamaldeen’s shot. The referee returned from the VAR review and brandished a red card to captain Andre Ayew. He was sent off as he watched his dream of leading his country to the first AFCON title in 40 years fade before his very eyes.
That red card dealt Ghana a heavy blow psychologically and a comeback was always unlikely due to how Ghana recently struggles to score goals.
The goalkeeper, though, failed to recover from the challenge and was taken off for Ahamada.
Ghana kept on its search for a goal as Issahaku called a shot-stopper into a first action with a shot from outside the box.
Four minutes prior to half-time, Partey drove a free-kick into the side netting, momentarily deceiving the Black Stars bench into believing an equaliser had been found.
The Comoros finally compounded Ghana’s situation as it added its second goal and was leading the Stars by two goals.
The Black Stars, however, responded quickly this time around to halve the deficit through substitute Boakye-Yiadom, who delivered a looping header into the net after Ahamada failed to collect a Kyereh’s corner.
The Black Stars started believing again when they scored the equalizer through Alexander Djiku. However, their joy was short-lived as Comoros had other plans. Benjaloud Youssouf who broke down the right, sent a shot across the face of goal while Mogni was at the right place at the right time once again to tap into the net from close range putting Comoros ahead again.
Ghana again pushed for a late equaliser but their efforts were not adequate as the referee brought proceedings to an end, handing Comoros their first major victory in their first major tournament.
Also in the Group C encounter, Gabon held the favorites Morocco to a draw in the absence of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Morocco had to come back from behind twice, first through substitute Sofiane Boufal’s 74th-minute penalty which cancelled out Jim Allevinah’s 21st-minute strike for Gabon.
Gabon and Morocco proceed from the Group C, while Ghana and Comoros have been sent parking with Ghana clinching the last position in the group.