Black Meteors seal Morocco 2023 qualification
Ghana’s Black Meteors has secured their place at the CAF U-23 AFCON after beating their Algerian counterparts1-0, in the second leg of the final phase of qualifiers at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, yesterday.
The team qualified on a 2-1 goal aggregate for the June 24 -July 8 championship in Morocco.
The first leg ended 1-1 in Annaba which meant there was all to play for in Kumasi.
It was quite an exciting match as both teams were eager to secure their place in the CAF U-23 AFCON.
Right from the blast of the whistle, the Ghanaians demonstrated a tough character by taking the game to their opponents.
Sporting Lisbon’s Abdul Fatawu Issahaku could have opened the scoring in the opening minutes but watched as his drive graze the crossbar when the game was four minutes old.
Three minutes on, Issahaku raced deep into the vital area and sent a neat pass to Ernest Nuamah, but the FC Nordsjaelland player, messed up the opportunity.
With the pressure still on, it was a matter of time for the Ghanaians to make a mark and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku made amends when he headed home a volley from Ernest Nuamah on the 11th minute mark.
The visitors accepted the challenge as Captain Aymen Boutoutaou galvanised the midfield to match the hosts boot-for-boot with their inter positional passes.
An opportunity came their way in the 28th minute when Mehdi Dorval raced deep into the Ghana goal area but saw his efforts wasted as there was no one to connect the ball that dangled across the posts to the relief of the Ghanaians.
The Algerians nearly canceled the lead in the 39th minute when Chemseddine Bekkouche powerfully headed a corner taken by substitute Mohammed Belkhir as goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim parried the ball to another corner that was wasted.
After the break, several chances fell on the path of the Meteors but the captain of the side, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh squandered in the 48th, 50th and 54th minutes to the chagrin of the fans.
Ernest Nuamah fired a pile-driver which saw keeper Teddy Boulhendi blocking the shot with his leg in the 58th minutes.
A solo effort by Ernest Nuamah put Daniel Afriyie Barnieh in a good position to score but he fumbled with the opportunity in the 78th minutes.
He was immediately replaced by Emmanuel Yeboah, who plies his trade in Romania, FC Cluj.
But for the sharpness of keeper Teddy Boulhendi, Bechem’s Emmanuel Essiem would have added his name to the score sheet in the 89th minute but wasted what was the last chance of the game.
FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMASI