Black Stars sent packing by Coelacanths

Black Stars sent packing by Coelacanths
Ahmed Mogni of Comoros celebrates goal with teammates during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals match between Ghana and Comoros at Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua, Cameroon, on 18 January 2022 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Tuesday Jan 18, 2022. 23:04

Ghana exited the Africa Cup of Nations at the group stages after losing 3-2 to Comoros at the Roumde Adjia Stadium on Tuesday night.

Amir Abdou’s side opened the scoring inside the opening five minute through El Fardou Ben and Ahmed Mogni extended their lead on the hour mark to shock the Black Stars.

However, two goals from Richmond Boakye and Alexander Djiku in the space of 13 minutes gave them a lifeline before Mogni struck again to send the Ghanaians packing without a win in Group C.

Milovan Rajevac’s men looked to start on the front foot in Garoua, but instead it was the Coelacanths who got off to a flying start.

They broke away down the right flank in the fourth minute and Ibroihim Djoudja played in Ben, whose low shot from the edge of the box beat Joe Wollacott at his near post.

The four-time AFCON champions went in search of the equaliser and Djiku directed a header towards the far post from a cross on the left in the eighth minute, but a combination of goalkeeper and defender cleared the ball away from goal.

Kamaldeen Sulemana threatened next on 16 minutes as he shifted the ball to the right and sent a low strike straight at Salim Ben Boina from outside the box on the left.

Another attempt from Sulemana on 22 minutes caused problems for the keeper, who spilled his dipping shot and Andre Ayew slid in to win the ball, but injured the keeper. After being instructed to view the challenge on the screen by VAR, the referee produced the red card to give the Ghana skipper his marching orders.

Despite being reduced to 10 men, the West African giants continued to ask questions of the Comoros defence and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku cut inside onto his left foot from the right flank to test substitute Ali Ahamada at his near post from range on 38 minutes.

Thomas Partey was a fraction away from restoring parity two minutes later as his free-kick from 20 yards out curled narrowly wide of the left post.

However, they were stunned on 61 minutes when the islanders struck again. Mogni collected the ball on the edge of the area and twisted one way then the other before firing a low shot across Wollacott into the bottom-right corner of the net.

Ghana’s response was instant though, as Ahamada failed to punch a 64th-minute corner from the right that was flicked on by Youssouf M’Changama and Boakye sent a looping header into the back of the net.

An inswinging corner from Daniel-Kofi Kyereh on 74 minutes had to be clawed away by Ahamada as it looked destined for the top-right corner, while the Dreams forward produced a carbon copy from a free-kick on the left two minutes later that also had to be palmed away by the keeper.

The Black Stars were level from the resulting corner, however, when Partey’s glancing header was converted by Djiku at the back post.

Wollacott had to be alert to push Faiz Selemani’s inswinging corner over his bar on 80 minutes, but he was beaten again five minutes later as Mogni side-footed home a cutback on the right byline from Benjaloud Youssouf.

Kyereh wasted a great opportunity in stoppage time with a free-kick that he curled well over the bar to end Ghana’s AFCON dream.

Ghana (0) 2 (Ben 4′, Mogni 61′, 85′)

Comoros (1) 3 (Boakye 64′, Djiku 77′)

Ghana: Wollacott, Yiadom (Owusu 81′), Amartey, Djiku, Rahman (Addo 46′), Sulemana (Boakye 60′), Partey, Kyereh, Issahaku (Paintsil 60′), A.Ayew, J.Ayew.

Comoros: Ben Boina (Ahamada 26′), B.Youssouf (R.Abdullah 90′), Zahary, M’Dahoma, Bakari, Selemani, M’Changama, Bachirou (Abdou 90′), Mogni (M.Youssouf 90′), Djoudja (Mattoir 60′), Ben.

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