Ghana gave away an early lead to draw 1-1 with the Central African Republic on Match Day II of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote D’Ivoire 2023 qualifier on Sunday.
The Group E encounter which came off at the 11 Novembro stadium in Luanda – Angola was due to a CAF ban after the national stadium in Bagui failed to meet the required standards to host CAF category A matches.
Ghana Coach Otto Addo made seven changes to the team that beat Madagascar 3-0 at the Cape Coast stadium on Wednesday.
Lawrence Ati-Zigi replaced Joseph Wollacott in the post with Andy Yiadom and Jonathan Mensah coming in for Baba Abdul Rahman and Denis Odoi.
Edmund Addo, Daniel Kofi Kyereh, and Mohammed Kudus completed a midfield trio with Osman Bukari, Joseph Painstil, and Felix Afena-Gyan completing the front three.
The host got the first shot on target in the 11th minute but Ati Zigi was on hand to carry out the effort that turned over for a corner kick by Gideon Mensah.
Mohammed Kudus gave Ghana the lead inside 18 minutes as he beautifully controlled a pass from Felix Afena Gyan before curling a low shot into the left bottom corner.
Central African Republic sat back and allowed Ghana to do the passing – but the host capitalized on a mix-up in midfield to punish the Black Stars as Karl Namnganda sent in a powerful volley into the roof of the net for the equalizer.
Back from recess, the Central African Republic grew in confidence and started pinning Ghana in their half but their efforts yielded nothing as the game wore on.
The match was blighted by a head injury to Jonathan Mensah after colliding with an opponent in the penalty box. The injury delayed the game for about 10 minutes as he was treated on the field before being taken to the hospital for further assessment.
Otto Addo brought on Kamal Deen Sulemana, Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, and Baba Idrissu for Osman Bukari, Joseph Painstil, and the injured Jonathan Mensah.
Later on, Captain Andre Ayew was also introduced for Daniel Kofi Kyereh while Kwesi Okyere Wriedt replaced Felix Afena Gyan.
Chances were far and few with Ghana pushing for the match-winner but the Central African Republic kept their composure as the game at 1-1.
Despite the draw – Ghana sit at the top of Group E with 4 points after two matches following a 1-1 draw between Madagascar and Angola.