AFCON 2023: History repeats itself as Ghana gets stunned by minnows
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AFCON 2023: History repeats itself as Ghana gets stunned by minnows
By Mangek Promise

History repeated itself as Ghana's exit from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations was virtually sealed by a late 2-2 draw with Mozambique in Abidjan. Jordan Ayew struck twice from the penalty spot to temporarily push the Black Stars above Egypt in Group B, who had fallen behind to Cape Verde in the other Group B game.

However, just as they did against Comoros two years ago, Ghana let the minnows back in and conceded stoppage-time goals to Geny Catamo's penalty and Reinildo Mandava's header which combined with Egypt's comeback win to surely send them home.

Chris Hughton's Black Stars led inside the first quarter of an hour when Nanani was guilty of clipping Joseph Paintsil from behind, allowing Ayew to calmly roll his side in front.

Despite Mozambique being one of AFCON's lowliest nations and a team which has never won a game at the tournament, Ghana failed to push on and endured long spells as the second best side in Abidjan.

The Mambas' first-half play was slick but lacked a direct threat on Richard Ofori's goal, but that changed after the break when Lau King headed wide and Bruno Langa stung the goalkeeper's palms within minutes of the restart. However, a lack of end product came back to bite them when Ghana doubled their lead against the run of play.

Reinildo was harshly punished for blocking a close-range shot with his arm slightly outstretched, allowing Ayew to step up and secure his brace. But the favour was repaid when Ghana substitute Andre Ayew was adjudged to handle in a similar incident, allowing Geny Catamo to put his side back in it as six minutes of stoppage time began. Straight back on the front foot, a hopeful Reinildo half-volley earned a corner via Ofori's needless touch on the byline and it was punished in incredible fashion with the Atletico Madrid defender rising highest to level the score.

A futile push back up the other end was not enough to seal Ghana's fate, their two points and negative goal difference leaving them in third place and all-but guaranteed to once again fly home from the Cup of Nations after the group stage.