Mohamed Abdel Rahman scored in the second minute of added time as hosts Sudan beat Ghana 1-0 to halt the Black Stars’ qualification party and revive their own hopes of qualifying for the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be staged in Cameroon in 2022.
Ghana looked to be headed for qualification with two matches left, the point taking them to 10 points and an unassailable lead. However, Rahman headed home the goal that takes Sudan to six points in Group C and a hope for a first qualification since 2012.
Ghana who prior to the Sudan loss hadn’t tasted defeat in three matches however remain top with nine points, only edging South Africa on goal difference.
With Sao Tome and Principe already out of contention, the race for the group’s two slots are now left for the top three.
Ghana were looking to complete a double over the Sudanese having beaten them 2-0 in the first leg, but they couldn’t complete the job with their top striker and skipper Andre Ayew missing through injury.
Chances were few and far in between with Caleb Ekuban having half a chance after 10 minutes with a shot from the right that went wide. Sudan had a chance after 27 minutes, but Abdel Rahman’s shot from inside the box was saved while his attempt at cutting back the ball from the rebound ended in no man’s land.
Ghana created another chance in the 36th minute Mubarak Wakaso sending Tarique Fosu through with a brilliant defense splitting pass, but the Sudanese keeper was out quick to clear the danger.
Ghana’s forward play was better in the second half and Jordan Ayew, the skipper of the day taking over from his brother, had a shot from range well saved by the Sudanese keeper. On the hour mark, Wakaso had a go at goal with a rasping effort from a freekick which was also saved.
Sudan didn’t create much and their best opportunity was in the 75th minute when Ahmed Hamid Al-Tash’s shot on the half turn inside the box went wide.
Ghana had one last chance to try and break the deadlock, and from another set piece, Ayew saw his effort saved by the keeper.
They were punished in the second minute of added time when Abdel Rahman rose well inside the box to head home a Ramadan Agab cross from the right.
GROUP C STANDINGS FOR MATCHDAY4
- Ghana 9 points +4
- South Africa 9 points +3
- Sudan 6 points +2
- Sao Tome 0 point -9