Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cape Verde’s late goal sinks Ghana; Egypt, Mozambique draw

Cape Verde embarrassed Ghana and Salah saved Egypt’s blushes.

• January 15, 2024
Cape Verde National Team (Credit: CAF)
Cape Verde National Team (Credit: CAF)

Garry Rodrigues scored a late winner at the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium as Ghana’s Black Stars fell to 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in their opening game of Group B at the 2023 AFCON.

The defeat marked a disappointing outing for Ghana hoping to heal from the performance of their last outing in Cameroon where they crashed out in the group stage after finishing bottom.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, Ghana’s Gideon Mensah found Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdoffer with a cross inside the 18-yard box but the latter’s attempt on goal missed its target.

Soon afterwards, Cape Verde wasted no time in taking their first chance of the game when Jamiro Monteiro gave them the lead in the 17th minute. Goalkeeper Richard Afori spilled Jovane Cabral’s shot and Monteiro calmly slotted in.

In the 36th minute, the Black Stars thought they had score an equaliser after Ashimeru Majeed fired a clearance from Konigsdoffer’s header into the net but was ruled offside by VAR.

Eleven minutes after the break, Ghana scored again. This time the goal stood. Alaxander Djiku’s fine header from Jordan Ayew’s corner kick kept Ghana in the game.

The Black Stars could have taken the lead on the hour mark but Paintsil Joseph failed to put Antoine Semenyo’s through pass into an open net.

Cape Verde almost regain the lead in the 72nd minute when Bebe’s attempt on goal was cleared off the line by Djiku.

Afori pulled off a fine one-on-one save in the 82nd minute to deny Cape Verde.

But he was helpless when substitute Rodrigues put the ball in the back of the net to earn Cape Verde a dramatic win.

Cape Verde lead Group B with three points, Egypt and Mozambique are on one point each after a 2-2 draw. Ghana sit at the bottom of the group with zero point.

In the other Group B game, record champions Egypt narrowly escaped a defeat at the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium after the Pharaohs were forced to a 2-2 draw by Mozambique in the Group B tie.

Two minutes into the game, Mostafa Mohammed opened the scoring for Egypt courtesy of an assist from Mohamed Salah and managed to maintain the advantage until the halftime break.

After the break, Mozambique went on to score twice within three minutes to grab an unlikely lead.

In the 55th, Witi equalised for Mozambique before Clesio Bauque gave them the lead in the 58th minute.

Salah would go on to score a stoppage time penalty to save Egypt’s blushes.

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