Ghana marked their 23rd Africa Cup of Nations campaign with glimpses of hope for Ghanaians, but their second-rate performance leaves the thirty million Ghanaian population with nothing but an unpleasing history to forget.
As reported earlier today by Ghana’s leading sports news site ghanasportspage.com, Ghana was faced by a scare of exiting the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon with the worst ever campaign tag in their 58-year AFCON campaign, should they fail to win against Comoros in their last game in Group C on Tuesday. Ghana indeed did fail to prove superior over the tournament debutants as they are left stunned by a 3-2 defeat to The Coelacanths.
The scoreline means Ghana have failed to advance from the group stage of the AFCON tournament for the fifth (5th) time in history. In the years 1980, 1984, 1998, 2006 and now 2021, Ghana failed to go past the group stages.
Meanwhile, in their previous 22 times appearances at the AFCON, Ghana had never exited the tournament without winning a single game, or without amassing at least 2 points to their credit. However, the early exit of the Black Stars from the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon means a new record has been set, and history has been made, one that is of no value to the proud Ghanaian.
In 1980 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Nigeria, Ghana played 3 matches in the group stage, won 1, drew 1 and lost 1 and exited the tournament with 3 points.
Similarly, Ghana produced another low output at the 1984 AFCON in Ivory Coast, where they played three matches at the group stage, won 1, lost 2 and exited the tournament with 2 points. In Burkina Faso 1998 tournament, Ghana played 3 matches at the group stage, won 1, lost 2 and exited with 3 points. The last time Ghana failed to progress from the group stage of the AFCON was in Egypt 2006 where 16 teams competed. In 2006, Ghana played three matches, won one and lost two, exiting with 3 points.
From the above statistics, Ghana has always managed to win at least one game at the group stages of the Cup of Nations, where they progress from the group or otherwise. However, this record which has stood for the past 58 years (since 1963 when Ghana made a debut in the tournament) has now been broken following their exit from the current edition.
Ghana suffered a humiliating 3-2 loss to debutants Comoros on Tuesday during their last game in Group C of the 2021 AFCON, which means Ghana have, for the first time, exited the tournament with just 1 point in 3 matches after losing to Morocco, drawing with Gabon and falling to Comoros. Captain Andre Ayew was dismissed in the early stages of the game following a tackle on the Comoros goalkeeper, which after watching the playback, the VAR ruled that to be an offence enough worth of a dismissal. The 2021 Ghana’s AFCON campaign has now been confirmed as the worst ever in the history of the country – a new record.
The Black Stars are due back home while the tournament continues. Comoros are now part of the best third placed ranked teams, and stand a chance of qualifying to the last 16 depending on the results from games that will be played on this day, January 19.
Photo Credit: CAF