AFCON 2023: Top 5 Talking Points From Ghana’s Costly Draw With Mozambique

AFCON 2023: Top 5 Talking Points From Ghana’s Costly Draw With Mozambique

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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Mozambique logo
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Mohammed Kudus logo
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  • Ghana's 2023 AFCON tournament is hanging by a thread
  • The Black Stars were stunned by Mozambique on Monday
  • There were major talking points during the dramatic game

Ghana are staring at another disastrous Africa Cup of Nations campaign following their 2-2 draw with Mozambique in their final Group B game.

The Black Stars received heavy criticism after the final whistle and will have to wait before knowing their fate in the tournament in Ivory Coast.

Chris Hughton, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Mohammed Kudus, Ghana, Richard Ofori, Mozambique
Chris Hughton and Andre Ayew were heavily criticised after Ghana and Mozambique met at AFCON 2023. Photos by MB Media and Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

The Black Stars exited the 2021 tournament in the group stage, and only a miracle can save them from suffering the same fate.

They finished third in Group B after one defeat and two draws. Against Mozambique, it appeared they would seal a Round of 16 spot, at least until the 90-minute mark.

Nevertheless, they suffered a spectacular collapse in stoppage time brought about by a series of mistakes from the players and the coach. They conceded a penalty and a corner as their three points disappeared in the blink of an eye.

So, what happened? Sports Brief looks at the 5 biggest talking points.

Ghana vs Mozambique talking points

Richard Ofori's performance

The Black Stars goalkeeper was at fault for Mozambique's second goal. He gifted a corner after touching the ball going out for a goal kick. It was a baffling decision from the experienced Orlando Pirates man.

He has not been great all tournament, probably because he hasn't played this season for his club. His sharpness and athleticism have diminished and overall, it was a forgettable performance from Ofori.

Chris Hughton's tactics

Mozambique dominated the match and created enough to win it. The four-time AFCON champions produced a lacklustre performance, especially in the second half. They lacked composure and made unnecessary last-ditch tackles. Moreover, Hughton's side lacked cohesion compared to Mozambique, who linked well upfront.

Aside from the two penalties from Jordan Ayew, they failed to threaten Mozambique's goal. Even when they had great counter-attacking opportunities, they squandered them. Their intensity faded after Ayew buried the first penalty in the 15th minute.

Failure to rally the team late in the game to keep a clean sheet will fall on Hughton's shoulders. Furthermore, their performances have not been convincing all tournament. Under the former Brighton manager, Ghana's football has been dull and uninspiring. They have now won one match in their last eight.

Mohammed Kudus impresses again

The West Ham United star has played two AFCON games in his career and won the Man of the Match award in both, per CAF. The forward was excellent against Mozambique, and a goal was the only thing missing from his performance. His shot resulted in Ghana's second penalty.

He missed the first game against Cape Verde, which they lost, but scored two beauties against Egypt, a match they drew 2-2. The 23-year-old will be Ghana's top star for years to come, and if they reach the Round of 16, he could help his nation go deep in the tournament.

The end for Andre Ayew?

At half-time, the veteran forward was brought on for Joseph Paintsil, but his handball handed Mozambique a late penalty that sparked their comeback.

Ayew is playing in his 8th AFCON tournament but was heavily criticised after the draw. He has represented Ghana well over the years and is their top scorer in the tournament, but it seems the 2024 edition will not end well.

Many called for him to retire from international duty, which is highly likely if Ghana exit the competition. He barely starts for the Black Stars and is 34 years old. Is this the end for Ayew?

Another AFCON disaster

Ghana have not won any of their last seven AFCON matches, a drastic decline from the African football giants. Their fate in Ivory Coast is out of their hands, meaning if results don't go their way, they are staring at another group-stage exit.

Between 2008 and 2017, they reached at least the semi-finals at the AFCON, per Opta Analyst. Their decline has been rapid for a team considered one of the best in Africa in terms of talent.

Most Ghanaian fans have called for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to be overhauled after another poor tournament. Is is time for Ghana to go back to the drawing board?

Victor Boniface trolls Ghana

Sports Brief earlier reported on Nigeria striker, Victor Boniface poking fun at Ghana following their 2-2 draw with Mozambique.

Other Nigerians joined him on social media to troll their bitter rivals after the Super Eagles sealed qualification earlier in the day.

The Jollof Derby between these two has played out at the 2023 AFCON, with both fanbases going at each other with the banter.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.