AFCON 2021: Morocco 1-0 Ghana – Black Stars surrender to Atlas Lions in tournament opener


Black Stars tasted defeat in their AFCON 2021 tournament opener on Monday evening against the Atlas Lions of Morocco in the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The four-time AFCON champions suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Moroccans as they kick off their campaign with a defeat.

Morocco were quick from their blocks and were the better side for the greater part of encounter and deservedly won the game at the end of the match.

Despite Morocco having the greater share of possession, it was Ghana who made an early incursion with more purposeful attacking play in the early exchanges.

Ghana had numerous corner kicks but failed to make use of the opportunities and couldn’t get a single shot on target.

Morocco threatened Ghana’s goal anytime they had an opportunity especially from corner kicks.

In the second half Ghana crumpled under no pressure and gave the Moroccans the chance to attack them.

Joseph Paintsil nearly gave Ghana the lead with a beautiful strike which was saved by Bounou in goal for Morocco.

Ghana looked disjointed especially in attack with Jordan Ayew offering virtually nothing upfront and allowed the Morocco defense to be on holiday.

Midfielder Thomas Partey could not shine in the match and looked very ordinary throughout the encounter as captain Andre Ayew became a mere passenger in the game.

Youngster Kamaldeen Sulemana and Paintsil were the only players on the field who threatened the back four but didn’t get any support from other colleagues.

Late in the game, Sofiane Boufal latched onto a lose ball in the box after a lackadaisical defending from the team.

Andy Yiadom and Baba Rahman offered nothing to do team going forward and were too fragile on the ball.

After the goal, Jojo Wollacott saved Ghana’s blushes with a great save.

The game ended 1-0 to Morocco and Ghana will play Gabon on Thursday evening in their next game.

By: D. N. A. MENSAH, Daily Mail GH

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