Afcon 2021: Ghana dumped out by debutants Comoros

1 year ago 45
Ahmed Mogni (right) celebrates a goal against GhanaAhmed Mogni (right) downed Ghana in Garoua with two second-half goals

Ghana suffered a humiliating group-stage exit at the Africa Cup of Nations after the four-time champions were beaten by debutants Comoros.

El Fardou Ben Nabouhane put the islanders ahead early on, and Ghana then went down to 10 men when Andre Ayew was shown a straight red card.

Ahmed Mogni doubled the lead before the Black Stars fought back to make it 2-2.

However, Mogni tapped in his second in the 85th minute to inflict Ghana's first group-stage exit since 2006.

The result in Group C will go down as one of the biggest shocks in Nations Cup history as Comoros scored at the finals for the first time and then went on to record their maiden victory.

Incredibly, the side ranked 132nd in the world now have a chance to reach the knockout stages as one of four best-ranked third-placed sides.

The tiny island nation with just under a million inhabitants - and more famous for its history of political coups than its football -had only won its first Nations Cup or World Cup qualifier in 2016 at the 20th attempt.

Ghana had put in disjointed displays in their first two games, a 1-0 defeat by Morocco and a niggly 1-1 draw with Gabon, and finish bottom of the group table despite putting in a spirited display following Ayew's 25th-minute sending off.

Africa Cup of Nations fixturesAfrica Cup of Nations group tables

Their fans in the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua looked stunned at the full-time whistle, being left to contemplate a rollercoaster second half which ended their bid for a first Nations Cup title since 1982.

Their exit in Cameroon will increase the pressure on coach Milovan Rajevac, who returned for a second spell in charge in September.

The Serb led the Black Stars to the Nations Cup final in 2010 and the World Cup quarter-finals the same year, and guided the West Africans through to Africa's play-offs for this year's World Cup.

However, Ghana only won their qualifying group ahead of South Africa on goals scored and are unseeded for the play-off draw - where they will face one of Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria for a place in Qatar.

Comoros, meanwhile, celebrated their three points heartily and now await the final round of matches in the remaining three groups to see if their stunning victory can extend their stay at the tournament.

VAR decision leaves Ghana reeling

Ghana had needed a win to have a chance of a spot in the last 16 and made the worst possible start by conceding in the fourth minute.

Ibroihim Youssouf was released down the right before finding Ben Nabouhane in the middle, and the Comoros skipper sent a low left-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the area.

Kamaldeen Sulemana tested Comoros keeper Salim Ben Boina with two shots from outside the area, the second of which provided another turning point in the contest.

Ben Boina spilled the winger's shot and Ayew went in strongly in an attempt to win the loose ball.

Andre Ayew clashes with the Comoros goalkeeperAndre Ayew's red card left Ghana facing an uphill task

The coming together injured the keeper and the Ghana captain looked surprised to be shown red following a video assistant referee review, with replays showing he went in with studs up and made contact with Ben Boina's upper arm.

The Comoros keeper was inured in the clash and forced off, leading to the introduction of Ali Ahamada, who came into the tournament without a club side.

Black Stars rally but ultimately denied

The islanders made it 2-0 just after the hour mark as Mogni twisted and turned the Ghana defence on the edge of the area before sending a low shot past Jojo Wollacott and into the bottom right-hand corner.

The strike sparked a group celebration down by the corner-flag involving substitutes - but Ghana immediately stirred.

Richmond Boakye looped in a header from a corner and, after Ahamada had clawed away two threatening balls in from Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, Ghana levelled in the 77th minute from another set piece.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey flicked on a corner and Alexander Djiku was on hand to convert from close range to give the Black Stars renewed hopes of going through.

But those dreams were dashed five minutes from time when Bendjaloud Youssouf cut the ball back for Mogni to seal a famous win for Comoros.

Ghana, who appear to lack leaders of the calibre of Asamoah Gyan, the striker who led them to the last eight at the World Cup 12 years ago, now face the challenge of regrouping before March's World Cup play-offs.

Thomas ParteyThomas Partey took over as Ghana captain following Andre Ayew's sending off, but the midfielder endured a frustrating evening



Formation 4-4-2

16Wollacott2YiadomBooked at 78minsSubstituted forOwusuat 81'minutes18Amartey23Djiku17BabaSubstituted forAddoat 45'minutes22SulemanaSubstituted forBoakyeat 60'minutes5Partey8Kyereh7IssahakuSubstituted forPaintsilat 60'minutes10A AyewBooked at 25mins9J Ayew




Formation 4-4-2

1Ben BoinaSubstituted forAhamadaat 26'minutes15YoussoufSubstituted forAbdullahat 90'minutes4Zahary12M'Dahoma22Bakari7SelemaniBooked at 14mins10M'Changama8BachirouSubstituted forAbdouat 90'minutes20MogniSubstituted forYoussoufat 90'minutes17YoussoufSubstituted forMattoirat 60'minutes21Ben Nabouhane


2Abdallah3Alhadhur5Ali Mohamed6Abdou9M'Changama11Aboubakari13Abdullah14M'Madi19Youssouf23Ahamada24Mattoir26Mohamed

Live Text

Match ends, Ghana 2, Comoros 3.

Second Half ends, Ghana 2, Comoros 3.

Attempt missed. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (Ghana) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is too high from a direct free kick.

Joseph Paintsil (Ghana) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Mohamed Youssouf (Comoros).

Alexander Djiku (Ghana) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by El Fardou Ben Nabouhane (Comoros).

Thomas Partey (Ghana) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rafidine Abdullah (Comoros).

Jordan Ayew (Ghana) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Younn Zahary (Comoros).

Substitution, Comoros. Nadjim Abdou replaces Fouad Bachirou.

Substitution, Comoros. Mohamed Youssouf replaces Ahmed Mogni.

Substitution, Comoros. Rafidine Abdullah replaces Bendjaloud Youssouf.

Attempt missed. Alexander Djiku (Ghana) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Goal! Ghana 2, Comoros 3. Ahmed Mogni (Comoros) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bendjaloud Youssouf.

Foul by Edmund Addo (Ghana).

El Fardou Ben Nabouhane (Comoros) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Comoros. Faïz Selemani tries a through ball, but El Fardou Ben Nabouhane is caught offside.

Offside, Comoros. Youssouf M'Changama tries a through ball, but Ahmed Mogni is caught offside.

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