Ghana’s quest to qualify for this year’s U-23 Africa Cup of Nations suffered a huge setback after only managing a 1-1 draw against Algeria in the first leg of their final round qualifier at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday.

Skipper Yaw Yeboah squandered a first-half penalty but Dauda Mohammed converted a penalty in the second half as the Black Meteors avoided a home defeat. 

Algeria started the game well and took the lead through Zorgane Adem’s drive on 30 minutes. 

Four minutes later, Ghana had the opportunity to draw level from the penalty spot but Yaw Yeboah’s effort floated high over the bar.

Back from recess, the Black Meteors mounted pressure on the Algerians which paid off on the 65th when Yaw Yeboah was brought down.

This time striker Dauda Mohammed elected himself and made no mistake in planting the ball at the back of the net for the equalizer.

Meteors pushed for the winner but to no avail due to the Algerians resolute defending. 

The second leg will be played in Algeria on Tuesday. The winner of the tie will qualify for AFCON in Egypt. 

The U-23 AFCON will serve as the qualifier for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan, with the top three teams set to represent Africa at the global showpiece.