A scrappy play from the Black Stars of Ghana in their second group game against Gabon in the Africa Cup of Nation in Cameroon, following a loss against Morocco in their opening game, has left fans and several Ghanaians believing it is over for the Black Stars, saying qualification to the last 16 is highly impossible.
Contrary to the thinking of the numerous stakeholders of the game, ghanasportspage.com will like to underscore reasons why Ghana’s chances of advancing to the knockout phase is much more brighter with just a little sense of responsibility.
The Black Stars grabbed the lead against Gabon in the game on Friday when skipper Andre Ayew put them in front with a magnificent strike in the 18th minute, but the Panthers resisted any chance of conceding further, and fought back vigorously to equalize in the 88th minute through substitute Jim Allevinah. Morocco now leads Group C with 6 points followed by Gabon who have 4 points after beating Comoros and drawing with Ghana. The Black Stars sit third on the log with 1 point with Comoros lying bottom without any point, having lost all two matches played so far.
Ghana still have a chance to advance – having their destiny in their own hands
Without a doubt, the game against Comoros promises to be a difficult one for Ghana, but the Black Stars just need a win in that game to boost their chances of advancing. According to the Regulations of the tournament, “The two teams finishing first and second in each group and the four best teams among those ranked third qualify for the round of 16”.
Meanwhile, Ghana have their destiny in their own hands as they have a responsibility to beat Comoros with at least two or more goals to brighten their chances. The determination of best third place ranked teams is outlined below according to the AFCON 2021 Regulations:
“The four best teams among those ranked third will be determined as follows:
a) greater number of points obtained in all group matches;
b) goal difference resulting from all group matches;
c) greater number of goals scored in all group matches;
d) drawing of lots by CAF Organising Committee”.
Check the CAF Regulations on the tournament below:
However, a study of the ranking of the four best third placed teams in the tournament so far after two matches means Ghana has a mountain to climb in the game against Comoros. Comoros are winless in all two games in the Group so far, but Ghana’s inability to score more goals in the tournament makes it doubtful if they can really put two or three goals past Comoros in the last group game.
A study of the table above shows that the four best placed teams after the first two matches include Malawi, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone and Sudan. Ghana presently fall outside the best ranked four teams placing third so far, but have their destiny in their own hands going into the game against Comoros on Tuesday, January 18.