Things did not go too well for Ghana in their final U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group match against Guinea. The Black Meteors went into Friday's match requiring a victory in order to make the semi-finals, but they couldn't take all the points in a tightly-contested fixture.
Guinea U23 1-1 Ghana U23.
❌️Ghana is out of the U23 AFCON Championship
❌️ Ghana fails to qualify for the Olympics games. pic.twitter.com/d5iCir51la
— Andydotcom (@Andydotcom_gh) June 30, 2023
Black Meteors have the lead at half-time vs Guinea
It's important to point out that Guinea came into this match knowing that a draw would be enough to see them through to the U23 AFCON last four. In contrast, the Black Meteors needed all three points, as any other result would eliminate them from the tournament. Interestingly, both teams had a slow start to this match; and although there were a couple of chances on both sides, the first goal didn't come until the 33rd minute.
Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Emmanuel Yeboah were able to beat three of Guinea's defenders with some beautiful one-touch passing; and it was the CFR Cluj forward who opened the scoring for Ghana. Interestingly, this was Yeboah's third goal in as many matches for the Black Meteors. It's worth mentioning that Ghana had the chance to double their lead a few minutes later, but Daniel Afriyie's attempt was saved by Guinea's goalie Mory Keita.
🇬🇭Emmanuel Yeboah puts Ghana infront and very much against the run of play.
Goal number three for Yeboah at the U23 Afcon.pic.twitter.com/DYVMxm0mfu
— George Addo Jnr (@addojunr) June 30, 2023
Guinea draw level
With the Black Meteors having the lead at the midway point of Friday's match, all they had to do was sit back and defend their lead. At this point, Ibrahim Tanko's men would go through at the expense of their opponents if the results stayed the same. However, Guinea were back on level terms just 15 minutes into the second half, thanks to a long range strike from Ibrahim Breze Fofana. Ghana had the chance to regain the lead at the 77th minute, but Ernest Nuamah's effort was denied by Mory Keita.
Although the Black Meteors were the ones who needed to win, it was Guinea who dominated most of the match. Ghana finished with just three total shots, and two of those came in the first half. On the other hand, Guinea registered nine total shots, and only one of those went on target.
What this means for both teams
Black Meteors failed to qualify to the next stage of the 2023 TotalEnergies U23 Africa Cup of Nations after a 1:1 draw against Guinea in their final group stage clash
They fail to book a spot for the upcoming Olympic games to be held in Paris-France from July 26-August 11, 2024… pic.twitter.com/lHDB4ButwC
— UTV Ghana (@utvghana) June 30, 2023
With Ghana's draw in mind, the Black Meteors have officially been eliminated from the U23 AFCON tournament; this means they will not feature in the Summer Olympics in Paris next year. Unfortunately, four points were not enough for Ibrahim Tanko's men to go through; as they finished just below today's opponents on the group table. On the other hand, Guinea have secured a place in the knockout stages of this competition. Being the second-placed team in Group A, they'll take on whoever finishes at the top of the Group B table in the U23 AFCON semi-finals.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago