The Leopards of Congo held the Black Stars of Ghana to a polsating 1-1 draw in Kumasi in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers played.
The match which kicked off at 3:30 pm GMT in the Ashanti Regional capital of Ghana had the Black Stars fully aware of their advantages after Uganda beat Egypt in Kampala yesterday to open up the Group.
Ghana had a clear chance to go on top of the game after a defensive blunder by the Congolese.
Ghana’s Richard Ofori saved the blushes of right back Joseph Attamah Lawey when the Congolese attacker Bifouma Thievy pounced onto a loose ball by Lawey.
The Congolese grew in confidence and started finding their way through the Ghanaian defense especially when they noticed Joseph Ataamah Lawey was finding things difficult on the pitch.
On the 14th minute, Ghana won a free kick which was converted by Thomas Partey but was ruled offside by the assistant referee.
Ghana’s right back blunder was brought to bare when Thievy Bifouma scored from a low cross from the left after Nguessi Ondama had forced Attamah Lawey to give away a pass.
The Leopards then closed up their spaces more making it very difficult to for the Ghanaians to create chances and score.
Jordan Ayew had a bright chance to equalize after about 4 minutes of Ghana conceding the goal but he chose to shot aimlessly whereas Gyan and Atsu were in a better position to score.
In order to create width, Attamah Lawey pushed up from the right flank but all his crosses went wide to the comfort of the Congolese.
Ghana started increasing pressure on the Congolese in order to find the spaces to score but the defense were absolutely resilient and unyielding, Ghana had 4 corners in 3 minutes but all were wasted.
Free kicks were won by Ghana in dangerous positions but Asamoah Gyan and Dede Ayew could not make them count.
Goal keeper Mouko Barel Mosiah in post for Congo made things worse for the Black Stars as he grew in confidence to thwart all efforts from Ghana to get a goal.
Coach Akwasi Appiah of Ghana made a quick substitution in the second half as he brought on Harrison Afful to replace Joseph Attamah Lawey.
Ghana continued from where they left off in the first half but chances upon chances created were wasted with Jordan Ayew been the worst culprit.
Christian Atsu ensured he used his speed and skills to his credit but unfortunately could not give decent passes for the strikers to plant home, poor final ball decision affected him.
The Congolese were also positioned very well and occasionally had dangerous chances from counter attacks but the central defense of Mensah and Amartey were up to the task to deal with them.
With 9 minutes to close the game, Ghana’s efforts were finally rewarded when Thomas Partey planted in a low cross from the right of attack as it was given by Harrison Afful.
With the introduction of Thomas Agyepong and Kwadwo Poku for Gyan and Dede Ayew respectively, Ghana had better chances to kill the game and snatch the three points but all went in vain.
The Ghanaians would have to work above themselves to ensure they keep their hopes alive as they face the Congolese in Brazzaville in four days time.