Black Stars near shock Afcon exit following a 1-1 draw with Gabon

Andre Ayew, Thomas Partey and Alex Djiku celebrating Ayew's goal for Ghana against Gabon

Ghana Black Stars are on the brink of making unwanted history in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon after they were well held by Gabon to a one-all draw in their second group C match on Friday evening.

Having suffered a narrow defeat to Morocco late into the first Group C game on Monday, the Black Stars suffered another fate on Friday after seeing their lead annulled with less than two minutes of regulation time to play.

Gabon started the game on the stronger foot, with loads of dangerous balls into the Black Stars area but was not able to break down a resilient backline marshalled by Alexander Djiku and Daniel Amartey. Andre Ayew shot the Stars into the lead with 18 minutes of the first half played. He received the ball from Thomas Partey and aimed a shot from outside the box that beat a couple of the Panthers defenders before flying past the goalkeeper into the left-bottom corner.

Ghana maintained the lead into the break but owed much of it to the excellence of Jojo Wollacott in between the sticks who pulled off impressive saves to keep the scoreline the same.

After the break, Gabon came back hungrier and threatened at almost every angle around the Ghanaian box with Kanga being the leader in the incursions. However, the Black Stars was in the previous half, stuck together and defended as a unit to maintain solidity at the back.

However, the Panthers were not to be denied for their hard work with Jim Allevinah curling in a shot from inside the box that beat both Andy Yiadom and Wollacott.

The win leaves Gabon in the second position in the group behind Morocco who has already qualified for the next round. The Panthers will face Morocco in their last group match while Ghana will take on Comoros who are bottom of the group with no point after two matches.

If the Black Stars failed to make it beyond the group stages this year, it will be only the fifth time Ghana would have exited the tournament in the group stages(1980, 1984, 1998 and 2006) with the last of such coming over 16 years ago.

By: Clifford Adumbire |


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