Ghana eliminated from African Cup in shock loss to Comoros
GAROUA, Cameroon (AP) — Four-time champion Ghana was eliminated in the group stage at the African Cup of Nations with a 3-2 loss to tournament debutant Comoros in a shocker that outweighed a string of surprises in Cameroon on Tuesday.
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.
The Ghanaians leveled with two goals in 13 minutes late in the game, only to concede again when Ahmed Mogni swept in his second goal in the 85th minute and gave Comoros its biggest soccer moment ever.
Ghana has made at least the semifinals in six of the last seven African Cups and was last dumped out in the group stage in 2006.
It finished last in Group C with the loss to Comoros.
Morocco won the group after a 2-2 draw with Gabon and Comoros has a chance to advance to the knockout stages as one of the best third-place teams in its first major tournament.
Earlier, 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.
Despite the loss, Guinea also advanced behind group winner Senegal as those two teams took the automatic qualifying places as expected but not in the manner expected.
Senegal ended up winning just one of its three group games — its opener against Zimbabwe and only after Sadio Mané buried a 97th-minute penalty. That was Senegal’s only goal of the group stage. Africa’s top-ranked team also drew 0-0 with Guinea.
On Tuesday, Senegal might have even lost after Malawi was awarded a late penalty when Bouna Sarr was whistled for pulling back Gomezgani Chirwa on the edge of the area.
Referee Blaise Yuven Ngwa of Cameroon checked VAR and then changed his mind and canceled the penalty when it seemed Sarr had indeed impeded Chirwa.