Ghana 1-1 Uganda: Ayew Penalty Salvages Draw For Black Stars

A completely uninspiring performance from the Black Stars saw them manage only a disappointing point against visitors Uganda, a result which would have left the Cranes feeling hard done by, as their performance merited more.

A goal on the stroke of halftime from Tony Mawejje gave the Ugandans the lead at half time before an Andre Ayew goal from the spot grabbed a point for the Ugandans. The star of the match for the Ugandans undoubtedly would have been goalkeeper Denis Onyango who pulled off three magnificent saves in the first half before his team took the lead.

The Black Stars started well as they dominated possession in the early minutes and managed to work Onyango as early as the 7th minute. The Black Stars dominance in possession could not make it to the final third as they constantly failed to find the final pass. Onyango was tested again around the quarter hour mark from an Asamoah Gyan free kick but the stopper pulled off another noteworthy save.

Ayew could only manage a weak effort straight at Onyango after a slaloming run had created space for him before poor play from Uganda saw them unable to capitalise on a rare Rabiu Mohammed slip. The subdued atmosphere in the stadium, however, seemed to affect the Stars as their play seemed to lack any coherence with move after move breaking down due to a combination of sloppy passing and poor movement.

Mawejje blazed an effort from the edge of the box wide before Geoffrey Kizito did same a few minutes later as the Ugandans began building steam around the half hour mark. Some sloppy defensive play saw the Ugandans win the ball inside the Ghanaian half setting up a 3on2 but a combination of poor decision-making and good defending from Jonathan Mensah saw the Ugandans unable to make it count, before Rabiu put up a similar interception a few minutes later after the Ghanaian defence looked lost once again. The Ghanaians responded with a chance of their own but Onyango continued his good start to the game with a magnificent save to keep out Gyan’s effort set up by a magnificent ball from Kwadwo Asamoah. The Ugandans opened the scoring finally in the final minutes of the half after another good phase of play ended with Mawejje effort going into the net after a slight deflection off John Boye put it beyond Fatau Dauda’s reach.

The second half seemed to have started similarly for the Ugandans who looked to continue in their solid ways of the first half, but were stunned by a very soft penalty after what the referee considered a foul on Majeed Warris in the box. Ayew made the mist of the opportunity to pull Ghana level with an effort straight down the middle from the spot. The Ugandans didn’t look fazed by the equaliser though and nearly went back ahead almost immediately, but for the timely intervention of the post. The goal seemed to give the four-time African champions some motivation but the Ugandans kept up with the pace, constantly posing a threat on the counter attack but failing to make the most of their chances due to some poor decisions.

Last ditch tackles from both Boye and Schlupp were required to keep the cranes at bay around the 75th minute before another effort was blazed high by Geoffrey Kizito. The Ugandans’ kept running the show with their efficient pressing making it difficult for the stars to create much of their own, a set piece opportunity, however, saw Boye through but with only the keeper to beat the centre back succumbed to the pressure from his marker and blazed his effort high.

A late surge of activity from the Stars amounted to nothing as the Cranes held on for a more the deserved win.