Andre Ayew put the Black Stars in the lead with a first-half penalty before Mame Biram Diouf levelled the score, with the Fenerbahce man popping up late to steal the win
Senegal ended their eight-match winless run in the African Cup of Nations as Moussa Sow struck deep into injury time to beat Ghana 2-1 at the Estadio de Mongomo.
In Avram Grant’s first competitive game in charge of Ghana, Sow had the final say after coming off the bench as Senegal came from a goal down to claim victory in their opening Group C clash.
Marseille’s Andre Ayew had initially settled any nerves for Grant’s side 14 minutes in by opening the scoring with a penalty as Ghana threatened even without captain Asamoah Gyan – absent with a mild bout of malaria.
However, Ghana failed to add to their lead and the Lions of Teranga punished them, with Mame Biram Diouf heading home from Pape Souare’s delivery before the hour.
Alain Giresse’s men made all the late running and were rewarded when Diouf turned provider for Sow to allow the Fenerbahce striker to roll home the winner and give his side their first Afcon success since the 3-2 victory over Guinea in 2006
Amid a fast-paced opening, Diouf almost latched onto a lofted pass inside the area five minutes in before Dame N’Doye opted to shoot instead of pass from a tight angle.
Somewhat against the run of play, Ghana took the lead as Ayew dispatched a spot-kick after Christian Atsu was brought down in the area by goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul.
It was perhaps harsh on Senegal, who started well, but Ghana’s pace on the counter continued to cause problems with Ayew’s brother Jordan next to go close with a curled shot just wide.
Giresse’s men threatened an equaliser when Kara Mbodj’s header crashed against the crossbar before Diouf’s overhead kick forced Razak Brimah into a smart save after the half-hour mark.
Ayew’s penalty separated the sides at the break, but Senegal drew level 17 minutes into the second half courtesy of Diouf’s header.
The Stoke City forward initially headed against the upright before he dived to snaffle up the rebound, scoring in his third consecutive international outing.
Diouf’s equaliser seemed to give Senegal added impetus and the former Hannover man should have put his side ahead soon after, only to blaze over from inside the area.
However, Diouf made amends in the 93rd minute with a clever lay-off for Sow, allowing the substitute to slip home the winner past the onrushing Brimah, leaving Grant’s men with work to do ahead of their clash with Algeria on Friday.
Next up for Senegal is a meeting with 1996 winners South Africa.