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Weak-willed Ghana held by Congo, fail to create World Cup luck

It turned out a fourth World Cup qualification hopes completely out of hands for Ghana as they rallied back to draw 1-1 with Congo on Friday.

Uganda’s massive 1-0 win over Egypt in the other Group E fixture the previous day, somewhat threw the Black Stars back into the reckoning. 

However, a gutless Ghana performance at the Baba Yara Stadium leaves the hope hanging by a thread.

The Black Stars, slow in their approach, were left to doing much of a catching up as they went down in front of their vociferous home fans as early as the 18th minute.

Star striker Thievy Bifouma slotted home after feeding on a pass from Club African’s Fabrice Ondama who capitalized on a mistake by debutant Joseph Attamah to bag an assist.

Congo’s tactics looked to have subdued their hosts as they seized and dictated the game at their own pace.

A debut to forget it turned out for Attamah who was deployed in an unusual right-back position. His first-half failings forced coach Kwasi Appiah into his first substitution just before the resumption of the second half. The experienced though not fully fit Harrison Afful came in and made a visible impact.

Ghana’s attack lacked cutting edge with Jordan Ayew and captain Asamoah Gyan up front while West Ham’s Andre Ayew failed to inspire the team with his performance.

Gyan and Andre were subsequently replaced by Thomas Agyepong and Kwadwo Poku whose introduction brought some urgency into the Black Stars’ play.

Ghana mounted a late charge which saw Thomas Partey scoring the equalizer with a one-time hit off Christian Atsu’s pass five minutes from time.

The Black Stars continued to push for the match winner but the score-line remained unchanged. They have thus been unable to win any of their two home games in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Lineups:

Ghana: Richard Ofori – Joseph Attamah/46′ Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Amartey, Jeffrey Schlupp – Thomas Partey, Ebenezer Ofori, Andre Ayew/68′ Kwadwo Poku – Christian Atsu, Jordan Ayew, Asamoah Gyan/62′ Thomas Agyapong

Congo: Mouko Mosiah – Itoua Beranges, Baudry Tony, Mayembo Fernand, Badila Tobias – Avounou Durel, Gandze Cesar, Bahamboula Dylan/83′ Dambou Simon – Nguessi Ondama/56′ Ndinga Delvin, Thievy Bifouma, Dore Ferebory/71′ Tsoumou Hama

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