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Africa Cup of Nations

Ghana 2-3 Comoros: Black Stars crash out of Afcon

00:07 GMT+3 19/01/2022
Comoros celebration Ghana 2022
The Black Stars’ adventure in Cameroon has come to an end following a surprise defeat to the debutants

Ghana have been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations finals following a 3-2 defeat to debutants Comoros on Tuesday.

Richmond Boakye-Yiadom and Alexander Djiku were on target for the Black Stars but an Ahmed Mogni double and an El Fardou effort won all three points for the Coelacanths in the Group C matchday three fixture at Stade Roumde Adjia Stadium in the Cameroonian city of Garoua.

The result left the four-time champions, who earlier lost 1-0 to Morocco and drew 1-1 with Gabon, bottom on the table with one point, while Comoros picked up the third spot and are in a position to qualify to the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed sides.

Morocco and Gabon finished in first and second positions, respectively, following their 2-2 draw in the other group game on Tuesday.

There was one new face in Ghana’s starting team as 17-year-old Abdul Fatawu Issahaku was handed his first start of the tournament.

Germany-born Daniel-Kofi Kyereh dropped deeper from attacking midfield to central midfield, allowing Arsenal ace Thomas Partey to move to a defensive midfield role in the absence of injured Iddrisu Baba.

The Comoros line-up featured Red Star Belgrade attacker El Fardou, who led the line with support from Cyrpus-based Fouad Bachirou and Guingamp star Youssouf M’Changama.

France-based goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina kept his place in the first XI after displacing Ali Ahamada for the second group game against Morocco, the latter having started in the tournament opener against Gabon.

The Coelacanths stung the Black Stars early in the fourth minute when Ibroihim Youssouf picked out El Fardou on a quick break.

Having found space at the edge of the box, the Red Star ace hit a low first-time shot which went past the rooted Joseph Wollacott between the sticks for Ghana to make it 1-0. It was the islanders’ first ever Afcon goal.

The Black Stars almost responded four minutes later when Djiku directed a looping header on goal following Kyereh’s corner, but goalkeeper Ben Boina reacted well to provide a fingertip save, before they cleared the danger.

Kamaldeen Sulemana then tested the goalkeeper with shots in the 17th and 21st minutes but neither of his efforts caused any harm.

On 25 minutes, Ghana were dealt a heavy blow when captain Andre Ayew was sent off for a foul on Ben Boina as he sought to tap in a rebound after Kamaldeen’s shot. The red was issued following a consultation with the video review.

The goalkeeper, though, failed to recover from the challenge and was taken off for Ahamada.

Ghana kept on their search for a goal as Issahaku called the substitute shot-stopper into a first action with a shot from outside the box.

Four minutes prior to half-time, Partey drove a free-kick into the side netting, momentarily deceiving the Black Stars bench into believing an equaliser had been found.

Ghana came back from the break with more energy but it was Comoros who scored again as Mogni, having received a cut-back, turned Partey inside out at the edge of the box, struck a low shot beyond Wollacott.

The Black Stars, however, responded quickly this time around to halve the deficit through substitute Boakye-Yiadom, who delivered a looping header into the net after Ahamada failed to collect a Kyereh corner.

After the goalkeeper tipped Kyereh’s free-kick away for another corner minutes later, Ghana fetched the equaliser in the 76th minute when Djiku tapped in from close range after Partey’s initial header fell kindly in his path.

At the other end, Wollacott did well to put a dangerous Faiz Selemani corner over the bar, but when the Coelacanths tried again in the 85th minute, they could not be stopped.

A lot of credit for the fifth goal of the match goes to Benjaloud Youssouf who broke down the right and sent a shot across the face of goal; Mogni was at the right place at the right time once again to tap into the net from close range.

Ghana tried to get a late equaliser but their efforts were not adequate as the referee brought proceedings to an end.

While Comoros registered their first win and points in Afcon history, Ghana have failed to go past the group stage for the first time since 2006.