Andre Ayew of Ghana challenged by Ngoran Collins Fai of Cameroon during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Cameroon and Ghana at Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia, Egypt on 29 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Saturday Jun 29, 2019. 21:23
Heavyweights Cameroon and Ghana played to a goalless stalemate in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group F match at Ismailia Stadium on Saturday evening.
The result sees the Indomitable Lions on top of the group standings with four points, while the Black Stars are second with two points. However, the log order could well be altered by the late game on Saturday between Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
Ghana settled the quicker of the two teams and created the first clear chance in the ninth minute, with Jonathan Mensah teeing up Thomas Partey for a shot in the middle of the penalty area, but the midfielder sent his effort high and wide.
The Black Stars were soon dealt a major blow, though, when winger Christian Atsu appeared to tweak a hamstring while shooting wide from distance in the 12th minute. The Newcastle United man was replaced by Samuel Owusu shortly thereafter.
Cameroon had plenty of possession but had to wait until after the half-hour mark to have their first goal-scoring opportunity, as Karl Toko Ekambi sprinted into space behind the defence, only for Jonathan Mensah to make a superb recovery challenge.
On 36 minutes the Indomitable Lions’ Clinton N’Jie found space down the right of the penalty area and sent a powerful effort on target which Richard Ofori had to turn around his near post for a corner kick.
The Ghana goalkeeper was in action again five minutes later, making a brilliant save to turn away a powerful left-footed shot from Christian Bassogog and ensure the match went to half time with the score locked at 0-0.
The defences tightened up in the second half and chances were far harder to come by at either end. Cameroon responded with a double substitution in the 74th minute, introducing Stephane Bakohen and Eric Choupo-Moting (who was dropped from the starting XI due to an injury concern), while a short while later Ghana sent on veteran forward Asamoah Gyan.
Yet it was another Black Stars substitute, Owusu Kwabena, who came closest to breaking the deadlock – seconds after he came on in the 87th minute he intercepted a ball in midfield, sprinted forward and rattled the crossbar with a well-struck effort.
Cameroon: Onana, Fai, Bong (Choupo-Moting 74’), Ngaedu-Ngadjui, Kana-Biyik, Bassogog, Oyongo, Mandjeck, Zambo Anguissa (Malong 82’), Ekambi (Bahoken 74’), N’Jie
Ghana: Ofori, Yiadom, Kasim, Mensah, Rahman, Wakaso, Partey, Asamoah (Gyan 78’), Atsu (Owusu 15’), J. Ayew, A. Ayew (Kwabena 87’)