Africa Cup of Nations - Group C
GhanaGhana2ComorosComoros3

Afcon 2021: Ghana dumped out by debutants Comoros

By Rob StevensBBC Sport Africa
Ahmed Mogni (right) celebrates a goal against Ghana
Ahmed Mogni (right) downed Ghana in Garoua with two second-half goals

Ghana suffered a humiliating group-stage exit at the Africa Cup of Nations after the four-time champions were beaten by debutants Comoros.

El Fardou Ben Nabouhane put the islanders ahead early on, and Ghana then went down to 10 men when Andre Ayew was shown a straight red card.

Ahmed Mogni doubled the lead before the Black Stars fought back to make it 2-2.

However, Mogni tapped in his second in the 85th minute to inflict Ghana's first group-stage exit since 2006.

The result in Group C will go down as one of the biggest shocks in Nations Cup history as Comoros scored at the finals for the first time and then went on to record their maiden victory.

Incredibly, the side ranked 132nd in the world now have a chance to reach the knockout stages as one of four best-ranked third-placed sides even though the Coelacanths lost their first two games in Cameroon.

The tiny island nation with just under a million inhabitants - and more famous for its history of political coups than its football - had only won its first Nations Cup or World Cup qualifier in 2016 at the 20th attempt.

Map of Comoros

A squad bolstered by members of the diaspora, with many plying their trade in the lower leagues in France, lost just once to achieve a maiden qualification and Comoros have now beaten one of the continent's giants.

Ghana had put in disjointed displays in their first two games, a 1-0 defeat by Morocco and a niggly 1-1 draw with Gabon, and finish bottom of the group table despite putting in a spirited display following Ayew's 25th-minute sending off.

Their fans in the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua looked stunned at the full-time whistle, being left to contemplate a rollercoaster second half which ended their bid for a first Nations Cup title since 1982.

Their exit will increase the pressure on coach Milovan Rajevac, who returned for a second spell in charge in September.

The Serb led the Black Stars to the Nations Cup final in 2010 and the World Cup quarter-finals the same year, and guided the West Africans through to Africa's play-offs for this year's World Cup.

However, Ghana only won their qualifying group ahead of South Africa on goals scored and are unseeded for the play-off draw - where they will face one of Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria for a place in Qatar.

Comoros, meanwhile, celebrated their three points heartily and now await the final round of matches in the remaining three groups to see if their stunning victory can extend their stay at the tournament.

VAR decision leaves Ghana reeling

Ghana had needed a win to have a chance of a spot in the last 16 and made the worst possible start by conceding in the fourth minute.

Ibroihim Youssouf was released down the right before finding Ben Nabouhane in the middle, and the Comoros skipper sent a low left-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the area.

Kamaldeen Sulemana tested Comoros keeper Salim Ben Boina with two shots from outside the area, the second of which provided another turning point in the contest.

Ben Boina spilled the winger's shot and Ayew went in strongly in an attempt to win the loose ball.

Andre Ayew clashes with the Comoros goalkeeper
Andre Ayew's red card left Ghana facing an uphill task

The coming together injured the keeper and the Ghana captain looked surprised to be shown red following a video assistant referee review, with replays showing he went in with studs up and made contact with Ben Boina's upper arm.

The Comoros keeper was injured in the clash and forced off, leading to the introduction of Ali Ahamada, who came into the tournament without a club side.

Black Stars rally but ultimately denied

The islanders made it 2-0 just after the hour mark as Mogni twisted and turned the Ghana defence on the edge of the area before sending a low shot past Jojo Wollacott and into the bottom right-hand corner.

The strike sparked a group celebration down by the corner-flag involving substitutes - but Ghana immediately stirred.

Richmond Boakye looped in a header from a corner and, after Ahamada had clawed away two threatening balls in from Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, Ghana levelled in the 77th minute from another set piece.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey flicked on a corner and Alexander Djiku was on hand to convert from close range to give the Black Stars renewed hopes of going through.

But those dreams were dashed five minutes from time when Bendjaloud Youssouf cut the ball back for Mogni to seal a famous win for Comoros.

Ghana, who appear to lack leaders of the calibre of Asamoah Gyan, the striker who led them to the last eight at the World Cup 12 years ago, now face the challenge of regrouping before March's World Cup play-offs.

Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey took over as Ghana captain following Andre Ayew's sending off, but the midfielder endured a frustrating evening

Line-ups

Ghana

Formation 4-4-2

  • 16Wollacott
  • 2YiadomBooked at 78minsSubstituted forOwusuat 81'minutes
  • 18Amartey
  • 23Djiku
  • 17BabaSubstituted forAddoat 45'minutes
  • 22SulemanaSubstituted forBoakyeat 60'minutes
  • 5Partey
  • 8Kyereh
  • 7IssahakuSubstituted forPaintsilat 60'minutes
  • 10A AyewBooked at 25mins
  • 9J Ayew

Substitutes

  • 1Nurudeen
  • 3Baffour
  • 4Mensah
  • 6Addo
  • 13Boakye
  • 14Mensah
  • 15Paintsil
  • 19Owusu
  • 24Attah
  • 26Mumin
  • 27Quaye

Comoros

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Ben BoinaSubstituted forAhamadaat 26'minutes
  • 15YoussoufSubstituted forAbdullahat 90'minutes
  • 4Zahary
  • 12M'Dahoma
  • 22Bakari
  • 7SelemaniBooked at 14mins
  • 10M'Changama
  • 8BachirouSubstituted forAbdouat 90'minutes
  • 20MogniSubstituted forYoussoufat 90'minutes
  • 17YoussoufSubstituted forMattoirat 60'minutes
  • 21Ben Nabouhane

Substitutes

  • 2Abdallah
  • 3Alhadhur
  • 5Ali Mohamed
  • 6Abdou
  • 9M'Changama
  • 11Aboubakari
  • 13Abdullah
  • 14M'Madi
  • 19Youssouf
  • 23Ahamada
  • 24Mattoir
  • 26Mohamed
Referee:
Boubou Traore

Match Stats

Home TeamGhanaAway TeamComoros
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home21
Away12
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home11
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away24

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ghana 2, Comoros 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ghana 2, Comoros 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (Ghana) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is too high from a direct free kick.

  4. Post update

    Joseph Paintsil (Ghana) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Mohamed Youssouf (Comoros).

  6. Post update

    Alexander Djiku (Ghana) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by El Fardou Ben Nabouhane (Comoros).

  8. Post update

    Thomas Partey (Ghana) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Rafidine Abdullah (Comoros).

  10. Post update

    Jordan Ayew (Ghana) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Younn Zahary (Comoros).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Comoros. Nadjim Abdou replaces Fouad Bachirou.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Comoros. Mohamed Youssouf replaces Ahmed Mogni.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Comoros. Rafidine Abdullah replaces Bendjaloud Youssouf.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alexander Djiku (Ghana) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Ghana 2, Comoros 3. Ahmed Mogni (Comoros) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Bendjaloud Youssouf.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Edmund Addo (Ghana).

  18. Post update

    El Fardou Ben Nabouhane (Comoros) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Comoros. Faïz Selemani tries a through ball, but El Fardou Ben Nabouhane is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Comoros. Youssouf M'Changama tries a through ball, but Ahmed Mogni is caught offside.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Cameroon32107347
2Burkina Faso31113304
3Cape Verde31112204
4Ethiopia301226-41

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Senegal31201015
2Guinea31112204
3Malawi31112204
4Zimbabwe310234-13

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Morocco32105237
2Gabon31204315
3Comoros310235-23
4Ghana301235-21

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Nigeria22004136
2Egypt21011103
3Guinea-Bissau201101-11
4Sudan201113-21

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ivory Coast21103214
2Equatorial Guinea21011103
3Sierra Leone20202202
4Algeria201101-11

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Gambia21102114
2Mali21102114
3Tunisia21014133
4Mauritania200205-50
View full Africa Cup of Nations tables

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