The Black Stars of Ghana were held to a 1-1 draw by the Central African Republic (CAR) in the second Group E encounter of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier played at the Estádio 11 de Novembro in Angola.
The Black Stars are top of the group with four points but edge Angola who also have four, on goal difference after the “Giant Antelopes” secured a point in another group fixture against Madagascar.
Coach Otto Addo made some significant changes for this game, with goalkeeper Jojo Wallocot, Captain Dede Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Baba Rahman, Baba Iddrisu, and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku all left on the bench.
Edmund Addo, Jonathan Mensah, Lawrence Ati-Zigi, and Osman Bukari were handed starting roles for the match.
The Black Stars started the game on the front foot with some decisive and beautiful passing with the likes of Edmund Addo and Kudus Mohammed bossing the midfield area.
Ghana deservedly went ahead in the 17th minute through Kudus Mohammed, who curled in a brilliant effort that went past CAR goalkeeper Alladoum Kolimba.
The game was very fascinating to watch, with some end-to-end action with CAR coming back strong and testing Black Stars goalkeeper Ati-Zigi.
Karl Namnganda pulled parity for CAR in the 41st minute with a delightful strike that flew past Ghana goalkeeper Ati-Zigi.
The first half ended one-all.
The Black Stars, at the start of the second half, mounted a flurry of attacks on the CAR penalty area as they looked to restore their lead.
A lengthy stoppage occurred at the half-hour mark after Jonathan Mensah sustained a head injury and was substituted.
The tempo seemed to have been affected by the length of the stoppage, but it was the Black Stars who were in control of the game but created few opportunities.
CAR were very dangerous with their counter-attacks and called upon Ghana goalkeeper Ati-Zigi to make a couple of saves.
CAR seemed content with the 1-1 scoreline and largely on the back foot in the late stages of the game, and they successfully held their lines to secure a point in the group.