Ghana got Chris Hughton’s tenure as head coach off to a winning start when Antoine Semenyo struck in the 96th minute to dispatch Angola in Kumasi.
His unsafe move to overlook captain Andre Ayew at last paid off, despite the fact that the Nottingham Forest man injured his knee while walking back to the changing room and hasn’t ventured out with the team to Luanda for the return match.
Meanwhile, defensive trio Alexander Djiku, Mohammed Salisu, and Denis Odoi were all absent from the return game on Monday, March 27. This left Hughton with some gaps in his backline to fill.
Nonetheless, Ghana could have qualified for the AFCON 2024 in Ivory Coast with a victory away. Angola was equally hoping that a victory over Ghana would boost their chances of qualifying to next year’s tournament.
The Black Stars earned a crucial draw in Luanda to move closer to AFCON qualification, but Angola was denied all three points thanks to Ghana’s substitute Osman Bukari’s immediate impact.
After converting a cross from fellow substitute Joseph Painstil to cancel Lucas Joao’s penalty for Angola in the 72nd minute, the Red Star Belgrade forward took less than a minute to announce his presence.
Angola got off to a good start when midfielder Fredy made a long-shot test on Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi.
With over 35,000 fans behind them, the hosts were aggressive and kept Ghana at bay for most of the first half, with Helder Costa, Gelson, and Lucas Joao making the Black Stars’ defense work harder.
After a quick exchange of passes between Mohammed Kudus and Edmund Addo, Ghana nearly scored halfway through the first half, but Addo’s shot missed the target.
After Costa broke off from the right, Angola made a threat a few minutes before the break, but his shot went wide.
Angola were awarded a penalty three minutes after the break after Daniel Amartey fouled Gelson inside the box. After sending Ati Zigi the wrong way to score, Lucas Joao made no mistakes.
Ghana’s Late Goal, Hughton’s Praise For The Fans And More
A few minutes later, Joseph Painstil and Inaki Williams were brought in by Chris Hughton to replace Kamaldeen Sulemana and Antoine Semenyo.
Angola almost multiplied their lead through Ary Papel in the wake of taking on Kingsley Schindler before his strike was impeded by Amartey.
Mohammed Kudus and Edmund Addo were then replaced by Osman Bukari and Majeed Ashimeru. Within two seconds of his debut, the Red Star Belgrade player completed a brilliant move after coming face to face with a cross from Joseph Paintsil.
Paintsil came close to giving Ghana the lead after his effort hit the cross bar moments later.
Ghana’s team increased the pace of the game with incredible brilliance, consistently striving for victory. With players like Ashimeru, Gideon Mensah, Paintsil, Bukari, and Jordan Ayew, the Black Stars gave the Angolans a hard time.
Until the very last whistle, Ghana’s brilliant pressure kept the crowd at bay. With three minutes left, Williams came close after receiving a cross from Abdul Samed Salis, and Ashimeru sent Painstil through, but Carneiro’s excellent defense saved Angola.
In their final two Group E matches, the Black Stars will face Madagascar on the road and host the Central African Republic.