Ghana Face AFCON Group Stage Exit After Mozambique’s Late Comeback

Ghana finished third in their group and now faces the possibility of an early exit from the tournament, unless there is a small miracle from other groups.

Femi Onasanya By Femi Onasanya - Sports Reporter
3 Min Read

Ghana’s chances of advancing in AFCON 2023 were effectively ended when they blew a two-goal lead in stoppage time against Mozambique on Monday.

Jordan Ayew, a key player for Ghana, managed to break the deadlock from the penalty spot just 15 minutes into the game. This happened after Mozambique’s Infren Nanani fouled Joseph Paintsil inside the box. Despite Ghana’s early goal, the first half was evenly contested.

In the second half, Mozambique came out strong and determined to equalize. They had a close opportunity to level the score within five minutes of the restart, with Bruno Langa attempting a shot from inside the box. However, Ghana’s goalkeeper, Richard Ofori, made a great save to prevent a goal.

In the 67th minute, disaster struck when Mohammed Kudus took a shot that was heading towards the goal, but it hit Reinildo Mandavas’ outstretched hand inside the box. This resulted in a second penalty for the Black Stars. The Crystal Palace attacker, once again, took the penalty kick and increased his team’s lead.

With only a few minutes left and Ghana seemingly securing a victory, Andre Ayew accidentally touched the ball with his hand inside the box, giving Mozambique an opportunity. Geny Catamo scored from the resulting penalty, reducing the deficit in the 91st minute.

Then, three minutes later, Reinildo redeemed himself for his earlier mistake by heading Shaquille Momad Nangys’ corner into the goal. This completed a dramatic collapse for Chris Hughton’s side. They effectively exit the tournament with two points from three games and a goal difference of minus one. However, they still need to wait for the fate of other third-placed teams to confirm their elimination.

Crystal Palace player Jordan Ayew demonstrated great composure when taking penalty kicks, scoring two goals that almost secured a victory for his team. It is worth noting that his older brother André inadvertently handled the ball inside the penalty box during injury time, allowing Mozambique to make a comeback.

Unfortunately, Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori made a terrible mistake by conceding a late corner, which ultimately led to the opposing team’s equalizing goal. Despite having no pressure and the ball bouncing harmlessly out for a goal kick from Mandavas shot, Ofori attempted to parry but ended up fumbling the ball, resulting in the fateful corner. While Ghana’s defense during the set piece was also unsatisfactory, Ofori’s intervention could have been avoided altogether.

Despite putting up a spirited performance on Monday, Mozambique’s AFCON journey effectively ended as they finished last in their group. On the other hand, Ghana finished third in their group and now faces the possibility of an early exit from the tournament, unless there is a small miracle from other groups.

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By Femi Onasanya Sports Reporter
Femi is a sport enthusiast, writer and commentator. Passionate about Sports and physical therapy with a flair for writing.