Ghana’s second group game of the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ended in a dramatic 1-1 draw at the Stade Omnisport Amadou Ahidjo in Yaounde, with Jim Allevinha scoring a late goal to cancel out Andre Ayew’s stupendous strike.
In what was an important, must-win game, skipper Andre Ayew gave the Black Stars the lead but the team fell short with just two minutes left on the clock as Gabon gave themselves a good shout at qualifying to the Round of 16 stage of the AFCON.
The Black Stars had a nervy opening 15 minutes, as Gabon threatened on a couple of occasions to find the back of the net but a resilient Ghana backline kept them at bay.
Milovan Rajevac’s men gradually settled in the game as the clock ticked on and were duly rewarded with a goal.
With the Black Stars firmly in control of the game, Andre Ayew created space for himself to let loose a ferocious strike that caught Jean-Noël Amonome off guard to give Ghana the lead on the 18th-minute mark.
After Andre Ayew’s all-important opener, the game became physical with Bruno Ecuele Manga, Thomas Partey and Guelor Kanga picking up yellow cards before the end of the first half.
Apart from Andre Ayew’s goal, there were more tackles than clear-cut chances for either side to find a second goal before the Algerian referee blew his whistle for halftime.
Both sides cancelled out each other in the opening 20 minutes of the second half but Ghana retained some level of control over the game.
After a poor display for 60 minutes, Kamaldeen Sulemana was replaced by Edmund Addo to help solidify the Black Stars’ midfield.
Rajevac’s side were dealt another blow when Baba Iddrisu picked up a knock and had to be replaced by Joseph Paintsil.
The presence of Edmund Addo stabilized the midfield as the Black Stars.
However, with just two minutes left, Jim Allevinha out of nowhere grabbed the leveller for Gabon which sparked wild celebrations by the Gabonese fans in Yaoundé.
After the final whistle, there was massive drama as players from the two teams were involved in a scuffle.
Afterwards, television replays showed that Ghana forward Benjamin Tetteh seemed to throw a punch in the direction of a Gabonese player.
The result means Ghana have just one point in two games and must beat Comoros in the last game of the group stages to stand a chance of booking a slot in the Round of 16 of the competition.