Black Stars

Ghana suffered their first defeat in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification after they were beaten 1-0 by Sudan on Tuesday.

Sudan ranked 128th in the world, 80 places below the Black Stars, produced by far their best performance of the year to claim a deserved victory at the Al Hilal stadium in Omdurman.

With the game heading for a goalless draw, Mohamed Abdel Rahman sent a well controlled header past a helpless Fatau Dauda after he met a perfect cross from the right flank.

Charles Akonnor’s side were without captain Andre Ayew – the hero last Thursday when the two countries met in Cape Coast. Ayew missed the game due to a muscle strain. First-choice goalkeeper, Richard Ofori was also not available due to suspension.

Their absence coupled with the Thomas Partey’s failure to report for the qualifiers meant that Jordan Ayew was named captain for the first time. He, however, could not lead Black Stars to victory.

Sudan dominated and created the best chances of the game. Goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, who was playing his first match for Black Stars in five years, stood between Sudan and a goal for the most part of the game by making a number of saves.

Apart from Mubarak Wakaso’s effort, Jordan had Ghana’s two other shots on target. Jordan created space for himself and fired a shot from 25 yards which was saved by goalkeeper Ali Eshrein.

Jordan then attempted to beat Ali Eshrein less than five minutes to full time from a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area but the Al Merreikh man once again denied the Crystal Palace forward.

Abdel Rahman settled the game in the 92nd minute. The striker left completely unmarked, guided his header past Dauda into the net.

The result means Akonnor’s side now have to either pick up one victory or two draws in the final two games against South Africa and Sao Tome.