The Black Stars of Ghana will be looking to get their Africa Cup of Nations campaign back into life and running when they square off against Gabon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium later tonight.
Ghana’s 1-0 defeat in their opener to Morocco saw them lose consecutive internationals for the first time since 2017, and they must bounce back here to put themselves in knockout qualification contention. To achieve that, they’ll need to stop a worrying trend of being stung by late goals – in three of their last four internationals they conceded after the 70th minute which they won one, drew one and lost the remaining two.
Surprisingly for a four time champions and a side that’s reached the AFCON final nine times, the Black Stars have struggled recently on foreign soil which could prove ominous. In fact, their only win across their last eight matches outside of Ghana came against lowly Zimbabwe, drawing two and losing five. Although with Gabon ranked 89th in the world, there are still hopes from the Ghanaians fans for better outcome.
Gabon got their Africa Cup of Nations off to a brilliant note as they claimed a hard-earned 1-0 victory over debutants Comoros last Monday.
In the absence of talisman and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, The Panthers took the lead shortly after the quarter-hour mark through Aaron Boupendza before putting on a solid defensive performance to see out the win.
Since 2021, Gabon have engaged in eleven internationals, winning four, drawing two and losing five.
Ghana’s number nine, Jordan Ayew will be looking forward to score his first ever goal for his side since netting in a 2-0 victory against Sao Tome and Principe in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on March 2021.
However, Aaron Boupendza will also be looking forward to add to his account after grabbing his first of the tournament against Comoros.
By Emmanuel Safo