Ghana’s Black Stars, having been lucky to get a home draw against Uganda at the weekend, looked like they would be dead and buried by Wednesday’s fixture – a border rivalry match against Togo. Togo was inspired by the return of Emmanuel Adebayor who came out of international retirement.
To add spice to the game, it was widely reported that this was a last chance for Ghana’s coach Kwesi Appiah, as anything short of a win would have seen him sacked.
But the Black Stars went to Lome, and recorded a 3-2 victory, sealed with a sweet strike by Chelsea’s Christian Atsu late in the game after Emmanuel Adebayor had restored parity to 2-2- only moments before.
It must have been a sweet victory for the Ghanaians who really looked a shadow of their old selves in the match at Kumasi over the weekend.
Asamoah Gyan and Agyemang Badu were the other scorers in that victory.
The shock of the day, though, was from Yaounde, where a really resurgent Cameroon continued marking the retirement of their own legend Samuel Eto’o by piling misery on the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire, who can’t seem to shake off the effects of the retirement of their own legend Didier Drogba. A match that paraded the crème-de-la-crème of attacking football from the Ivorians ended 4-1 to Cameroon.
Youngster Vincent Aboubacar, formerly of Lorient and recently signed by FC Porto grabbed two of the goals, while 21 year old Lyon forward Clinton Njie also got two. Manchester City’s Yaya Toure got Cote d’Ivoire’s consolation.
In other results, Congo, runaway winners against holders Nigeria at the weekend consolidated their position at the top with a 2-0 routing of Sudan. Malawi edged Ethiopia in a five-goal thriller with Atusaye Nyondo grabbing a brace.
Last year’s finalists Burkina Faso also continued a great run of form, hammering hosts Angola 3-0 in Luanda while Lesotho was very unlucky to have conceded a very late equaliser against Gabon, in what would have been a remarkable result.
Results so far:
Congo 2-0 Sudan
South Africa 0-0 Nigeria* (match still being played at the time of this report)
Malawi 3-2 Ethiopia
Algeria 0-0 Mali* (match still being played at the time of this report)
Angola 0-3 Burkina Faso
Lesotho 1-1 Gabon
Sierra Leone 0-2 DR Congo
Cameroon 4-1 Ivory Coast
Togo 2-3 Ghana
Uganda 2-0 Guinea
Mozambique 1-1 Niger
Cape Verde 2-1 Zambia
Botswana 0-2 Senegal
Egypt 0-1 Tunisia* (match still being played at the time of this report)