Four-time champion Ghana was eliminated in the group stage at the African Cup of Nations on Tuesday with a 3-2 loss to tournament debutant Comoros in a shocker that eclipsed a series of big surprises already in Cameroon.
In a tumultuous game, Ghana fell behind in the fourth minute, had captain Andre Ayew harshly sent off in the 25th and was 2-0 down in the 61st.
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The Ghanaians leveled with two goals in 13 minutes late in the game, only to concede again when Ahmed Mogni swept in his second in the 85th minute to give Comoros undoubtedly its biggest soccer moment ever
The killer blow for Ghana came with Ayew’s red card. He slid in when Comoros goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina spilled the ball and did get a toe to the ball, but also sent his boot crashing into the keeper in his follow-through.
Meanwhile, Morocco and Gabon drew 2-2 in Yaounde to retain first and second places in Group C respectively and qualify for the Round of 16, which kicks off on Sunday.
Gabon who did not have the services of their two superstars Pierre Aubamezang and Lemina managed to hold on to the north African team to seal position two to qualify for the round of 16.
Gabon opened the scores through Jim Allevinah, who took advantage of a slip by Chakla to fire past Munir. It was his second goal in the competition.
Morocco equalized through Sofiane Boufal from the penalty spot in the 74th minute.
An own goal by Nayef Aguerd from Rennes 81st minute hand Gab on another goal. , but a superb free-kick by Achraf Hakimi from Paris allowed the Atlas Lions to snatch a draw 85th minute.
Rwandan Salima Mukansanga became the first woman to referee an Africa Cup of Nations match when she oversaw the Group B clash between Guinea and Zimbabwe in Yaounde on Tuesday.
Guinea also advanced behind group winner Senegal as those two teams took the automatic qualifying places as expected but not in the manner expected.
Guinea captain Naby Keita did his best to revive his team but got a yellow card which means he is suspended for Guinea’s last 16 games.
Senegal qualified atop Group B but only with a 0-0 draw with Malawi. And Zimbabwe, which had already been eliminated, provided yet another surprise by upsetting Guinea 2-1 in the other Group B game.