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Black Stars knocked out of 2023 AFCON

Ghana on brink of AFCON exit after Mozambique stage late fightback

Ghana conceded twice in stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Mozambique as a place in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations slipped through their fingers.

Jordan Ayew scored a pair of penalties which looked to be sending Ghana through, but a thrilling finale saw Geny Catamo pull one back from the spot before Reinildo Mandava equalised at the death.

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The two dropped points meant Egypt pipped Ghana to second place in Group B, despite also conceding a last-gasp leveller in a 2-2 draw with Cape Verde, and Chris Hughton’s side are highly unlikely to qualify as one of best third-placed teams.

Ghana players reacts in disappointment during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations match between Mozambique and Ghana at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, Cote dIvoire on 22 January 2024 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Antoine Semenyo went close for Ghana just seconds into the game, unleashing a powerful strike from the edge of the box, but goalkeeper Ivane Carminio managed to tip the ball over the bar.

Ghana were awarded a penalty when Joseph Paintsil twisted his way into the box and was fouled by Nanani and Jordan Ayew coolly rolled the resulting spot-kick into the bottom right corner to open the scoring after 15 minutes.

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The Black Stars were dealt a blow when Majeed Ashimeru was taken off on a stretcher and Mozambique continued to threaten straight after the break as Richard Ofori punched a dangerous cross away before Lau King headed wide.

They had a flurry of opportunities as Bruno Langa forced Ofori into a save and another chance went begging when the Ghana keeper palmed a corner into the path of Nene, who headed well wide of a post.

Following a rare foray into the opposition area Ghana earned another penalty after Mandava handled the ball and Jordan Ayew stepped up again to double his side’s lead in the 70th minute.

Mozambique pulled one back a minute into stoppage time when they were given a penalty after an Andre Ayew handball and Catamo fired his effort into the bottom corner.

Their dramatic comeback was complete four minutes into added time when Mandava nodded the ball home from a corner to all but end Ghana’s hopes of making the next round.

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