In a stunning turn of events, Mozambique secured two late goals in second-half stoppage time, dealing a severe blow to Ghana’s prospects in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament and likely eliminating them at the group stage.
Initially appearing to cruise into the last 16 with two penalties from Jordan Ayew, one in each half, the Black Stars suffered a dramatic setback reminiscent of their 2021 AFCON group game against Comoros in Cameroon. Ghana conceded stoppage-time goals to Geny Catamo’s penalty and Reinildo Mandava’s header. Coupled with Egypt’s draw, this result almost certainly sends Ghana home from the tournament.
Under the management of Chris Hughton, the Black Stars took the lead within the first quarter of an hour when Nanani fouled Joseph Paintsil, allowing Ayew to calmly convert the penalty. Despite facing one of AFCON’s less competitive teams in Mozambique, Ghana struggled to assert dominance and spent long periods as the second-best side in Abidjan.
While a late push from Ghana was futile, their two points and negative goal difference currently place them in third position, making it highly probable that they will exit the Cup of Nations after the group stage. Their fate now depends on results in the final games involving Cameroon, Zambia, and Tanzania, all of which must go in their favor to secure a third-place qualification.