Hopes of Ghana qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have suffered a setback after succumbing to a penalty shootout defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in the Africa U23 Cup of Nations semi-final in Egypt a game that was highlighted as bet of the day.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw to the extra time, thanks to the brace scored by Youssouf Dao for Cote d’Ivoire, while Yaw Yeboah and Evans Mensah were able to level the scoreline twice, leading the game straight into extra time and the Young Elephants was able to win 3-2 in the Penalty kick.
The Young Elephants have been said to have won all Africa’s three tickets to the next year’s Olympic Games, Ghana, on the other hand, will be hoping to claim a win against South Africa’s U23 on Friday for the third-place play-offs of the tournament.
Some might have claimed that Ghana lost to Ivory Coast was due to tactical reasons on their end, as Kwabena Owusu, who scored a brace to push the Black Meteors to the semi-final of the tournament.
The Ivorians went into the game without their team captain Ibrahim Sangare and their prolific striker Christian Kouame, who due to a serious injury has been ruled out of the tournament.
The Ivorians were handed an early lead thanks to Dao’s 13th minute finding the back of the net after shooting the ball in the box beating the Ghana goalkeeper Kwame Baah.
The Ivorians could be said to have dominated the whole of the first half but were unable to find themselves a second goal in the first 45 minutes
The Ghanaians first impressive attempt came through only in the 27th minute of the first half as Robin Polley shot the ball wide from the penalty box after being picked out by Yeboah.
Ghana was finally able to level the score-line, six minutes into the second half, with a goal from Yeboah, who smashed the ball past Samuel Obeng to find the back of the net.
Doa handed the Ivorians the lead again in the 85th minute of the game scoring a graceful header. Evans Mensah scored a crucial late goal for Ghana in the added time to take the match straight into extra time.
None of the team were able to find the back of the net during the extra time, which led straight into penalties. Something experts in football predictions didn’t expect to happen.
Ghanaian players Emmanuel Cudjoe, Owusu and Mensah were unable to score from the penalty spot leading to a 3-2 victory for Cote d’Ivoire.