African Games 2023: Ghana clinches top spot after hard-fought victory


Ghana and Senegal through to semifinals.

In a thrilling culmination to the group stage of the men’s football competition at the 13th edition of the African Games, Ghana and Congo emerged victorious in their final matches, securing their places in the semi-finals of the prestigious tournament.

At the Legon Stadium in Accra, Ghana‘s National U20 team, known as the Black Satellites, showcased their prowess as they battled it out against Benin. In a fiercely contested match, Ghana secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over their opponents.

The decisive moment came in the 33rd minute when Jerry Afriyie capitalized on a defensive error from Benin to score the lone goal of the match, sending the home crowd into jubilation.

Despite Benin’s valiant efforts to find an equalizer, Ghana’s resolute defense held firm, ensuring they finished atop Group A with seven points. Their victory guaranteed them a spot in the semi-finals, where they aim to continue their quest for African Games glory.

Gambia comeback

Meanwhile, at the Accra Sports Stadium, Congo staged a remarkable comeback to overcome Gambia in a thrilling encounter. Gambia initially took the lead in the 20th minute through Dawda Darboe’s well-placed finish, putting Congo under pressure.

Jerry Afriye of Ghana (center) celebrates with teammates after scoring. PHOTO: CAF Online

However, Congo refused to be deterred and launched a spirited fightback in the second half. Dioluy Moukouba restored parity for Congo in the 61st minute with a powerful strike from outside the box, igniting hopes of a comeback.

As the match entered stoppage time, Congo completed their resurgence with a late goal from Dechan Moussavou in the 90th minute, clinching a dramatic 2-1 victory over Gambia. The win propelled Congo to the second spot in Group A, securing their passage to the semi-finals of the African Games.

With Ghana topping Group A and Congo finishing as runners-up, both teams have earned their spots in the semi-finals of the competition. Their impressive performances have set the stage for thrilling encounters in the knockout stages as they vie for the ultimate prize.

As they await the outcome of matches in Group B, Ghana and Congo will meticulously prepare for their upcoming semi-final clashes, where they will face formidable opposition in their quest to etch their names in African Games history.

The journey to African Games glory continues for Ghana and Congo, with their eyes firmly set on lifting the coveted trophy and bringing pride to their nations. With their determination and skill on display, these teams have undoubtedly set the tournament alight, captivating fans across the continent with their exhilarating brand of football.

Senegal star Idrissa Gueye celebrates after scoring against Nigeria. PHOTO: CAF Online

Senegal edge Nigeria

At the sametime, Senegal’s National U20 football team pulled off a remarkable comeback to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory over tournament favorites Nigeria in the final matches of Group B at the 13th edition of the African Games.

Idrisa Gueye emerged as the hero for Senegal, showcasing his prowess with two crucial goals to propel his team to the semi-finals.

Despite Nigeria taking an early lead in the 1st minute through Charles Agada’s goal, Senegal displayed resilience and determination to turn the tide in their favor.

Gueye’s quick-fire strikes in the 21st and 27th minutes swung the momentum in Senegal’s favor, setting the stage for an enthralling contest.

Nigeria, however, refused to go down without a fight, with Favour Izuogu restoring parity in the 49th minute to set up a tense finale.

 But Senegal remained undeterred, as Sergine Diouf stepped up to convert a crucial penalty in the 65th minute, sealing a hard-fought victory for his team and securing their place in the semi-finals.

The defeat proved to be a bitter disappointment for Nigeria, who crashed out of the tournament, bringing an end to their campaign in disappointment.

Meanwhile, at the Legon Sports Stadium, Uganda emerged victorious in their clash against South Sudan, securing a narrow 1-0 win to clinch the top spot in Group B.

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