For the first time since 2009, the Black Stars of Ghana have won a penalty shootout after beating Chile 3-1 on penalties this morning to finished third in the 2022 edition of the Kirin Cup in Japan.
A superb performance from goalkeeper Abdul Manaf Nurudeen saved the day for the Stars who were reduced to 9 men in the 78th minute and had to play an 11-man Chile with just 9 men for the rest of the game.
The Black Stars put in a much better performance in the game against the South Americans compared to their opening match against Japan which they lost 4 – 1.
Otto Addo made changes to his starting line-up with Manaf replacing Lawrence Ati-Zigi in post while Baba Rahman, Felix Afena-Gyan and Benjamin Tetteh were all given starting berths.
Both teams were unable to take advantage of the opportunities that came their way with Ghana registering 4 shots on target out of 10. Chile on the other hand, had 11 shots at goal but only 1 was on target.
The Black Stars dominated the game in the first half but could not find the back of the net. After recess, the Stars continued their dominance over their South American counterparts but their goalkeeper pulled some brilliant saves from Kudus Mohamed and Captain Andre Ayew to keep the score line barren.
The Black Stars were reduced to 10 men after a reckless challenge by Clermont Foot defender, Alidu Seidu, attracted a yellow card from the referee but was later changed to a red card after a VAR check. The Chileans tried to pile pressure on the Black Stars but could not break the defense.
On the 78th minute mark, Mubarak Wakaso was also shown a second yellow card and was given his marching orders after confronting the referee who failed to award him a free-kick after he was fouled.
Black Stars play 12 minutes with 9 men
Ghana played the last 12 minutes of the game with nine men, following the red cards and had to sit deep in their half to prevent the Chileans from taking a numerical advantage.
With just a minute to end the match, Mohammed Kudus came close to sealing the victory for Ghana but Perez Kirby, the Chilean goalkeeper, was once again up to the task to deny the Ajax star. The referee however, blew the whistle for the end of the match without allowing Ghana to take the corner kick that resulted from Kudus’ strike.
The winner was decided on penalties just after the 90 minutes without any extra-time played. Manaf made two saves in the shootout to ensure the Black Stars earned a historic victory on the day, 9-men and a penalty shootout.
Jordan Ayew, Mohammed Kudus and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku scored their penalties for the Black Stars while the 4th Chilean player saw his effort go wide. Coach Otto Addo and his men are expected back to Ghana after a successful tournament, bringing an end to their international break.
Meanwhile, Japan will take on Tunisia in the finals of the tournament at 9:55 GMT today to decide the winner of the 2022 Kirin Cup tournament.
The Kirin Cup Soccer is an association football tournament organized in Japan by the Kirin Brewery Company since 1978.