Thievy Koulossa Bifouma of Congo
Friday Sep 01, 2017. 20:01
A late goal from Thomas Partey was not enough to ease Ghana's woes as they remain on the cusp of seeing their 2018 FIFA World Cup hopes go up in smoke following a 1-1 draw to Congo at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Friday.
The Black Stars have qualified for three successive World Cup's, but look sure to miss out on a ticket to Russia as they remain winless in Group E with Uganda and Egypt leading the way.
For Congo, a point on their travels will serve as some motivation, but in reality the result does neither team any good as they remain well off the pace heading into the reverse fixture in Brazzaville.
The Red Devils made a positive start and hit the front as early as the 18th minute through Thievy Bifouma.
Josef Attamah looked nervy from the onset and it was his mistake that ultimately led to the opener as Fabrice Nguessi pounced to tee up Bifouma for a clinic finish, 0-1.
Ghana went in search of a reply with Partey looking the most likely, his rasping effort well saved by Barel Mouko in the 38th minute.
Congo 1-0 up at the break.
It was no surprise to see Harrison Afful introduced at right-back following the interval, and it was he who threatened in the 70th minute. The USA-based defender unlucky to see his shot rattle the side-netting.
Jordan Ayew was denied by Mokou soon after before Partey stepped up to the plate with both Asomoah Gyan and Andre Ayew substituted.
The Atletico Madrid man finding the back of the net following a defense-splitting pass by Christian Atsu with 85 minutes on the clock.
Too little to late, though, for Ghana who will need a miracle if they are to book a ticket to the world showpiece in Russia.
Ghana (0) 1 (Partey 85')
Congo (1) 1 (Bifouma 18')
Ghana: R.Ofori; Attamah (Afful 46'), Mensah, Amartey, Schlupp - Partey, E.Ofori, A.Ayew (Poku 68') - Atsu, J.Ayew, Gyan (Agyapong 62')
Congo: Mouko; Itoua, Baudry, Mayembo, Badila - Avounou, Gandze, Bahamboula (Dambou 83') - Nguessi (Ndinga 56'), Bifouma, Dore (Tsoumou 71')