Ghana 1-1 Cameroon: Habib spares Black Meteors' blushes in U23 Afcon opener

Joel Fameyeh Ghana U23
Goal Ghana
The Black Meteors settled for a point in their first game at the continental showpiece in Egypt 

A late fightback saw Ghana come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in their opening game of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Bayern Munich youngster Franck Evina opened the scoring for the young Indomitable Lions but Asante Kotoko centre-back Habib Mohammed scored three minutes to full-time to level the score at Cairo International Stadium.

The result left the two tournament debutants with a point apiece after the Group A fixture.

Ghana coach Ibrahim Tanko handed starts to Spain-based Kwabena Owusu and FC Utrecht attacker Issah Abass who only joined camp in Egypt on Tuesday.

Goal 50 Revealed: The best 50 players in the world

Evina led Rigobert Song's line-up for Cameroon, with support from Austrian-based Michael Cheukoua, Osmanlispor attacker Eric Ayuk and Espanyol striker Kevin Soni. 

The Lions almost scored under one minute of play when Cheukoua was played through but his shot narrowly looped over the bar after a defensive block.

On 19 minutes, Ghana had their first attempt on goal when Habib headed captain Yaw Yeboah's free-kick into the waiting arms of goalkeeper Simon Omossola.

Cameroon took the lead a minute to the hour mark as Evina curled a free-kick from outside the box over the wall into the top left corner of the net. 

Four minutes later, Granada midfielder Yan Brice Eteki almost made it 2-0 but his low shot from the edge of the box just missed the target.

Ghana went close to an equaliser in the 69th minute when Owusu's first-time curler from inside the box just bobbled wide after a neat set-up by substitute Samuel Obeng Gyabaa.

After Owusu drove another shot over the bar, Cameroon had a scoring opportunity but Ayuk shot into the side netting after being played through by Soni. 

Three minutes to full-time, Ghana finally drew level when a deflected Zachariah Fuseini shot fell kindly to Habib who slotted home from close range to make it 1-1.

Article continues below

Cameroon almost won it all deep in injury time but another missed opportunities left the score unchanged.

In the opening game of the tournament, hosts Egypt got their campaign off to a flying start with a 1-0 triumph over Mali.

Mohamed Mostafa's 28th-minute header earned the young Pharaohs all three points ahead of their second fixture against Ghana on Monday.