Ghana’s U-23 football team, the Black Meteors, missed out on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games in Japan after losing to South Africa 5-6 on penalty shootouts, in the third place match of U-23 African cup of Nations in Egypt.
Ghana conceded early in the first half after Yohannes picked up Luther Singh with a brilliant long pass, but the latter’s shot across the Ghanaian goal, intended to pick up Foster, ricocheted off Ghanaian center back Habib Mohammed and found the net.
Ghanaian Skipper, Yaw Yeboah, saw his shot deflected before Agbekpornu shot wide from 24 yards.
South Africa were through on goal once again from a counter attack, only to be caused by Makgalwa’s indecisiveness in the Ghanaian penalty area.
The Black Meteors restored parity five minutes after the break with Evans Mensah scoring a screamer from 25 yards.
The winger rifled a finessed shot from 25yards to beat fully stretched South African goalie Mpoto.
Drama unfolded fifteen minutes later when Coach David Notoane threw on University of Pretoria winger Kahmohelo Mahlatsi.
The young prodigy responded in rapid response fashion, banging in South Africa’s second barely two minutes after having climbed off the South African bench.
Just when when it looked like South Africa had won the day, Ghana stung the late.
Phenomenal Evans Mensah maneuvered his way ‘in-behind’ the South African defence before finding Samuel Obeng, but this time, the Ghanaian kept his composure in the box.
Despite being surrounded and jolted mildly by three defenders, Obeng guided his shot into the back of the net from 4 yards.
The scores were pegged at 2-2 after ninety minutes and inability to produce a winner in regulation time implied that penalty shoot-out was the only resolve, and once again the Ghanaians melted.
South Africa’s Malepe missed the first kick, and Lomotey scored, but after Luther Singh’s Jorginho-esque free kick was converted, things got messy for Ghana.
Kingsley Fobi saw his penalty saved by Mpoto.
Ghanaian goalkeeper pushed Ghana closer to history by saving Mohammed’s kick with his foot and it was down to Ghana’s Emmanuel Sarpong, but the full-back unfathomably tried to experiment with his outside foot and missed agonizingly.
Ghana crumbled thereafter and Cudjoe missed his all-important kick to extend Ghana’s Olympic absence.
South Africa pick up the last and only available slot for African teams in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games while Ghana’s penalty nightmare only stirs up more and more superstition.
Story by: Godfred Dampte-Larbie | universnewsroom.com