Ghana’s hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup were dented after a 1-1 draw with Ethiopia on Thursday at the Orlando Stadium.

The Black Stars are now level on points with South Africa, who play their game in hand against Zimbabwe later on Thursday.

Andre Ayew put the Black Stars ahead with an expertly delivered free kick in the first half.

The Ethiopians stepped up in the second half and were rewarded after Getaneh Kebede made the most out of a defensive blunder and smashed his effort past Jojo Wollacot.

With goal difference being the tie-breaker, Ghana still mathematically have a chance of qualifying but will need to better South Africa’s goal difference.

Defensive blunders undo hardwork

Ghana were less than 20 minutes from securing very three important points at the Orlando Stadium. However, a mistake from Joseph Aidoo helped the Zimbabweans equalise through Kebede.

That wasn’t the only time the Black Stars made a defensive mistake against Ethiopia. In the first half, Ghana’s defence was very sloppy relinquishing possession easily.

Amartey was dispossessed a couple of times in very dangerous areas with Wollacot coming to his rescue.

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Ghana's qualification hopes hang in a balance after draw with Ethiopia

Throughout the game, Ghana’s backline didn’t inspire confidence and Ethiopia mostly created their chances through mistakes from the Black Stars.

Before Ethiopia equalised, Kudus lost the ball in Ghana’s half and the Ethiopians came close with a Kebede effort which crashed the crossbar.

Kebede, who is Ethiopia’s all-time topscorer was a beneficiary of another Ghana error minutes later. Aidoo failed to control a Wakaso pass as he succumbed to the Ethiopian press.

Kebede was then put through on goal as his powerful volley flew into the net to equalise for Ethiopia.

Ghana still with a chance

As things stand, the Black Stars are level on points with South Africa. However, the South Africans play their game in hand against Zimbabwe later on Thursday.

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Ghana's qualification hopes hang in a balance after draw with Ethiopia

Regardless of the result at the FNB stadium, Ghana will still need to beat South Africa to stand any chance of qualifying. Find the permutations below:

  • If SA beat Zimbabwe 1-0

Ghana will qualify if they beat South Africa 1-0 because they have scored more goals despite both teams having a goal difference of 4.

  • If SA beat Zimbabwe 2-0

Ghana will qualify if they beat South Africa 2-0 because they will have a GD of 5 and South Africa will have a goal difference of 4.

  • If SA beat Zimbabwe 3-0

Ghana will qualify if they beat South Africa 2-0. Both teams will have the same goal difference. Both teams will have scored 8 goals. However, Ghana will have a better head to head.

  • If SA beat Zimbabwe 4-0

Ghana will qualify if they beat South Africa 3-0 because they’ll have a better goal difference.

  • If SA beat Zimbabwe 5-0

Ghana will qualify if they beat South Africa 4-0 because they’ll have a better goal difference.

The Black Stars face South Africa at Cape Coast on Sunday at 19:00GMT.



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