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Football

AFCON 2019: Benin hold 10-man Ghana to draw in group F

Mikael Pote scored twice as Benin held Ghana to a drew on Tuesday night. (PHOTOS/Agencies)

AFCON 2019
Ghana 2-2 Benin
Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia
Tuesday, 25-06-2019

Benin started confidently and Mikael Pote found himself running through on goal inside the first two minutes, he turned Lumor Agbenyenu before slotting in past Richard Ofori to stun Ghana.

This was the Turkish based striker’s 8th goal in 49 appearances for the Squirrels, handing his side a 1-0 lead against the mighty Ghana.

However, Benin’s joy was short-lived as Andre Ayew equalized on 8 minutes. The Fanerbache playmaker pounced onto a lose pass by brother Jordan, set himself up before fired in a low shot which deflected off Olivier Verdon’s right-leg and into the bottom right hand corner.

Andre Ayew (10) celebrates scoring Ghana’s first goal against Benin on Tuesday.

After the goal, Ghana started looking more like themselves, asserting authority and pushing for a second goal.

Despite pushing forward, the Black Stars looked suspect at the back especially with Pote and Steve Mounie running at them.

Ghana were forced into an early substitution with Thomas Agyepong who has been at the recieving end of two knocks, replaced by Samuel Owusu on 35 minutes.

Moments later, John Boye became the first player to be booked after a reckless tackle on Sessi D’Almeida, inside the center-circle.

With the early waved now settled down, Owusu tried his luck from 30 yards but thw effort flew wide and over.

With 3 minutes to the break, Ghana turned the game on it head as Jordan made it 2-1, ensuring that he keeps it in the family. The Crystal Palace striker who saw his elder brother-Andre draw the Black Stars level, received a defence splitting pass from Kasim Nuhu before turning and unleashing a fierce drive into the top corner.

Nine minutes into the second half, Boye who was booked in the first half, was shown a second yellow-card and given his marching orders by Tunisian referee Youssef Essrayri, for time wasting, leaving Ghana to play the reminder of the game with 10 men.

In response, the Black Stars made a second substitution with defender Jonathan Mensah coming on for first half substitute Owusu.

Benin had a chance to draw level, at the hour mark after Munie was brought down by Mubarak Wakaso just outside the area. Cebio Soukou took responsibility but his effort was pushed out by Ofori for a corner.

From the resultant kick, substitute Jodel Dossou sent in a low cross which was side footed by Pote for his and Benin’s second goal of the day, bringing the game to level terms.

After the re-start, Ghana went in the attack to try and regain their lead but Christian Atsu’s attempted over-head kick, flushed narrowly out.

Despite the one man disadvantage, Ghana were seeing the better chances on goal and on 70 minutes, Thomas Party tested Fabien Farnolle from a free kick, 25 yards away but the custodian stretched to push it out for a fruitless corner, keeping the scores at 2-2.

Benin looked not to be interested in pushing for the winner, limited to speculative efforts on numerous occasions.

In an attempt to run down the clock, Ghana called for a third substitution with a minute of the 90 to play, taking of Andre and replacing him with Afriyie Acqua.

Inside the three added-on minutes, Dossou picked up Munie in the Ghana area but the Huddersfield Town striker headed over from a glorious position, squandering an opportunity for the Squirrels to register all three points.

In the end, the two sides could not be separated as they drew 2-2.

The result means Cameroon remain top of the Group after defeating Guinea-Bissau 2-0 earlier in the day.

In their next games, the Black Stars take on Cameroon on Saturday while Benin tussle it out with Guinea-Bissau on the same day.

The other game played on Tuesday

-Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau

Wednesday’s fixtures

-Nigeria vs Guinea @5:30pm
-Uganda vs Zimbabwe @8pm
-Egypt vs DR Congo @11pm

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