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AFCON DAILY: Ghana held by Benin in Group F opener

Michael Pote struck twice, either side of two Ghana goals to win a point for the squirrels of Benin in their group D encounter with the Black Stars.

The Black Stars started the game in the worst possible way and were behind to Benin after just 2 minutes.

A simple through ball cut through a sleeping Stars’ defence like a knife through hot butter to which Pote duly punished the Ghanaians.

The goal seemed to have disorganised the Stars who were shaky with every touch and had a sense of panic running around the team.

The equaliser,however came soon after as Jordan Ayew’s cross found its way to his brother and Captain Andre, via a deflection. Andre calmly gathered the ball on his left foot before beating the goalkeeper at his near post.

Ghana were back in it at that point.The goal looked to have switched Momentum to the Stars,who then went in search of the lead.

The Black Stars saw more of the ball and enjoyed possession for the majority of the half and looked to be exerting themselves on the game.

However, an injury to AFCON debutant, Thomas Agyepong in the 30th minute forced Ghana into an early change. Samuel Owusu, another debutant, was his replacement.

Ghana continued to knock on the door of their Benin counterparts and in the 42nd minute were rewarded after Jordan Ayew slid away from his marker before shooting into the roof of the Benin post to put Ghana in the lead going into halftime.

After the break, the Black Stars continued to increase their dominance and get a proper hold of the game and looked very likely to add to their lead.

Things took a funny turn as 9 minutes into the second half, John Boye recieved a red card for what looked like a time wasting tactic.

Ghana had to play the rest of the 36 minutes and extra time with 10 men.Coach Dusseyer of Benin , duly exploited the numerical advantage and made two attacking changes.

The equaliser came soon after as a short corner was worked into the box for Pote to connect home for his second of the night and an all important equaliser for Benin.Benin got a late chance to find the winner but Steve Mounie’s 92 minute header went wide as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

Earlier in the day, Champions Cameroon beat Guinea Bissau 2-0 in their defence of the title.

The indomitable Lions were without their Captain from 2017, Benjamin Moukandjo but it was the best player of the last edition, Christian Bassogog,who missed two sitters in the first half to give the Champions the lead.

A quick fire double in the second half from Yaya and Boakhen however, was enough to take the Lions to top of group F.

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Written by Eli Avot

Eli is a determined young man driven by his will to succeed and his passion for sports. Writer, presenter, pundit.

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