The Black Stars of Ghana failed to sparkle in a cagey encounter with their counterparts from the Democratic Republic of Congo as they drew 2-2 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in South Africa.
The encounter, which was the first game in Group B, saw a number of wasted opportunities from both teams. Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan was the worst culprit as he fluffed three clear opportunities which could have won the day for the Stars.
The first clear chance fell to DR Congo as they hit the bar in the early minutes of the game.
But the Black Stars and Udinese midfielder, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu drew first blood from a nicely worked play from Kwadwo Asamoah on the 40th minute and hanged on to close half.
The Black Stars again came up strongly in the second half with goal number two from the man who provided the assist for the first goal. Kwadwo Asamoah beat DR Congo’s goalkeeper with a sublime header on the 47 minute from a Mubarak Wakaso corner. Wakaso showed clearly that he was the man for set pieces as all the his balls unsettled the defence of the Leopards.
Just when the Black Stars thought they were home and dry, skipper Tresor Mputu pulled one back after meandering his way into the penalty area and placing the ball beyond Fatau Dauda’s reach.
From then on, DR Congo was determined to go home with a point or perhaps win the game. The opportunity fell to DR Congo as Ghana defender Jerry Akaminko pulled a DR Congo player in the penalty box.
Mbakani stepped forward and scored the equaliser. From then on, it was both sides sizing each other up.
Ghana would have to regroup in their next game against Mali.