The crucial game between the Black Stars and the Indomitable Lions ended goalless in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, despite efforts by both sides to break the deadlock.
Both sides had some good chances but three crucial interventions from Jonathan Mensah and a couple of key saves from Richard Ofori prevented Cameroon from getting on the scoresheet while Thomas Partey, Yiadom and Kwabena Owusu went close for Ghana but both sides stayed resolute as the game ended goalless.
Ghana started the game brightly and threatened to open the scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes with Partey just failing to connect from a well struck corner before his effort a few minutes later from a smart Kwadwo Asamoah pass flew wide off the mark.
Christian Atsu had to be substituted in the 15th minute after he pulled up following a shot from distance. Chances were few and far between which explained Jordan Ayew’s anguish in the 28th minute as he failed to get a good enough touch on a lovely ball from Baba Rahman. Toko Ekambi had a close shave of his own just moments later as well timed last ditch tackle from Ghana defender Mensah prevented him from getting a shot away after he had broken through on goal.
The Indomitable Lions kept pressure as the half came towards the end and nearly got the opener as Bassagog robbed Rahman off the ball to set Cameroon on the attack before getting on to Ekambi’s cut back in space, his effort was however magnificently saved by Black Stars keeper Ofori. Cameroon continued to apply pressure but failed to find the breakthrough they needed as Ghana saw out the half without conceding.
The Black Stars started the second half much better than they ended the first trying hard to get the breakthrough but they only came close through a long range effort from Wakaso and an attempted dinked pass from Owusu which missed everybody. Cameroon responded with some good play and the Ghanaians had another late Mensah intervention to thank for the score staying level as his slight touch was all that prevented Njie from connecting with Fai’s cross before Anguissa hit his own long range effort wide after collecting from the clearance.
Mensah was crucial for Ghana in the 75th minute, again standing between Cameroon and an opener as he stood in the way of Bassagog’s ferocious effort. Substitute Kwabena Owusu nearly broke the deadlock with his first touch after stealing the ball in midfield and making a good run but he saw his effort hit the crossbar. Ghana kept the pressure and were presented with another chance about a minute later but Andy Yiadom’s effort was way too feeble to trouble Onana. Ghana’s pressure persisted till the final whistle but they were unable to find a way past.
Ghana face Guinea Bissau next and will be hoping to get the 3 points and put themselves in a good position to qualify while Cameroon will be confident of qualifying with a win against Benin.
By Joshua Ansah, Daily Mail GH