The Black Stars’ ambitions to make it to a fourth consecutive Fifa World Cup seem to be over following a goalless draw against the Cranes
Ghana’s hopes of claiming a fourth consecutive Fifa World Cup ticket were dampened once more after they failed to record a win against Uganda in the 2018 World Cup qualifying on Saturday.
Both teams settled for a goalless at the Mandela Sports Stadium in Namboole.
Kwesi Appiah lined up a relatively young side following the Black Stars’ current injury situation, with goalkeeper Richard Ofori maintaining his role in post, while Daniel Opare came in for injured Harrison Afful and Nicholas Opoku partnered Daniel Amartey in the centre of the defence.
Alfred Duncan, Ebenezer Ofori, Frank Acheampong and Kingsley Sarfo completed the midfield while Richmond Boakye Yiadom led the attack with support from Thomas Teye Partey.
Both teams appeared nervous in the opening exchanges as they were reluctant to push men forward but the hosts improved their pace moments later.
Amartey was fortunate to see only yellow card after bringing down Emma Okwi outside Ghana’s box. Farouku Miya saw the resulting kick go wide.
The Black Stars’ biggest moment came by the 18th minute after Sarfo’s tailor-measured pass connected with Partey, but instead of crossing to Yiadom who was free for a simple tap in, the Atletico Madrid midfielder went in for the kill and could only find the side net.
On the 33rd minute, Yiadom was brought down on the right edge of Uganda’s box, with Amartey heading home from the ensuing free-kick but the goal was ruled offside.
Opare failed to bend an effort from an excellent Ebenezer Ofori’s pass two minutes later.
With five minutes from the break, Kizito Luaga and Miya had two clear-cut chances to put Uganda ahead but they got wasted.
Ghana regained confidence after the break and started threatening the backline of the hosts but the killer pass was missing.
Patrick Twumasi and Rafael Dwamena were brought on for Sarfo and Duncan respectively by 53rd minute and Ghana reverted to a 4-3-3 formation in search for the all-important goal. The substitutions almost yielded after Twumasi’s free-kick outside the box beat Onyango but fell shot of dropping inside the net.
On 63rd minute, Derrick Nsibambi headed wide from six yards after Godfrey Walsuimbi’s cross was missed by Nicholas Opoku.
Ghana appealed for a penalty on the other side after Acheampong was pushed down in Uganda’s box but South African referee Daniel Bennett rather gave the Tianjin Teda star a verbal warning.
With time running out, Uganda pushed men forward for the winner but Ghana did not wilt under the late pressure and even scored against the run of play but once again it was ruled offside.
Dwamena latched on to a rebound from Yiadom and calmly slotted in with the last touch of the game but his effort couldn’t stand and the entire technical team rushed to the pitch to vent their frustrations on the officials.
Ghana sit third on the log with six points, three points behind Egypt who have a game in hand against Congo on Sunday and any results aside defeat, will mean the Black Stars are out of the qualifiers with a game to spare.