Late Jim Allevinah strike puts Gabon on cusp of knockouts with draw against Ghana
Africa Cup of Nations, Group C – Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo – Gabon 1 (Allevinah 88’) Ghana 1 (A. Ayew 18’)
Gabon's forward Jim Allevinah (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the Group C Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Gabon and Ghana at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on January 14, 2022. (Photo by Ke
A fine late strike from Jim Allevinah gave Gabon a huge 1-1 draw against Ghana and put them on the cusp of the knockouts at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Gabon started the brightest, but it was Ghana who broke the deadlock after 18 minutes. Andre Ayew received the ball 25 yards out with his back to goal, swivelled brilliantly and fired his shot into the bottom left corner.
Despite both sides having opportunities to threaten their opponent’s goal in the opening 45 minutes, poor execution in the final third meant clear cut chances were scarce.
Ghana's forward Andre Ayew (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during the Group C Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Gabon and Ghana at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on January 14, 2022.
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Gabon had a great chance to equalise early in the second half, but Junior Assoumou directed a free header from a corner over the bar.
They had another brilliant chance on the hour mark as they grew into the second half. A low cross was half-cleared but only as far as Johann Obiang inside the box, who unleashed a shot towards goal only to be denied by the brave head of Iddrisu Baba.
Eventually Allevinah broke the Ghana resistance with an excellent left-footed goal.
There was an incident after the final whistle as players and staff came together in the centre of the pitch as the two sides clashed.
Benjamin Tetteh was shown a red card for a punch to a Gabon player as frustration boiled over in the Ghana camp.
TALKING POINT - GHANA COULD BE IN TROUBLE
Ghana desperately needed a result tonight after losing to Morocco in their opening game of the tournament. After Andre Ayew put the Black Stars ahead with an excellent finish, it looked as though they were going to hold on for all three points to keep up with group leaders Morocco, but a late Allevinah strike burst the Ghanaian bubble.
They will most likely still qualify for the next stages of the competition but must avoid defeat to Comoros at all costs, who sit bottom of the group with zero points. If they do lose, they’ll be on the next flight home.
Image credit: Eurosport
MAN OF THE MATCH - ANDRE AYEW (GHANA)
After a moment of brilliance to put Ghana ahead and take his Africa Cup of Nations goal tally up to double figures, seeing his name etched into the history books, Andre Ayew put in a captain’s performance to do his best to see his country over the line and claim what would have been three huge points.
He will have to put in another big shift when Ghana face Comoros, with his side sitting third in the group and only a point to their name, with one game remaining.
18’ - GOAL! GABON 0-1 GHANA (AYEW): What a finish! The Ghana captain picks the ball up from 25 yards out with his back to goal, turns magnificently and fires his shot into the bottom left corner. Ghana up and running!
46’ - EARLY CHANCE FOR GABON! Assoumou has a free header from a corner but directs his effort over the bar.
60’ - BIG CHANCE GABON! Substitute Allevinah latches on to a lofted ball over the Ghana defence but Wollacot is quick off his line to deny him! Warning for Ghana!
63’ - ANOTHER CHANCE FOR GABON! Obiang this time! the loose ball from a cross finds Obiang just inside the area, who blasts his shot towards goal but Baba heads away!
88’ - GOAL! GABON 1-1 GHANA (ALLEVINAH): Sensational, they've found the equaliser with minutes to go! Allevinah has been brilliant since his introduction early in the second half. He picks up the ball on the edge of the box, beats his opponent and guides the ball across goal into the bottom corner.
90’+3 - RED CARD! Benjamin Tetteh is awarded a red card after punching a Gabon player.
Andre Ayew equals Samuel Eto’o, Kalusha Bwalya and Asamoah Gyan with the most AFCON tournaments with a goal (6)