The Black Stars of Ghana secured a vital point against the Black Antelopes of Angola in the reverse fixture of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers at the Estadio 11 de Novembro on Monday.
Substitute Osman Bukari pulled Ghana level after Lucas Joao gave Angola the lead from the penalty spot in the early stages of the second half.
The Black Stars of Ghana now sit atop Group E with eight points, followed by Central Africa Republic with seven points after their 2-0 victory against Madagascar in the other group encounter.
Angola is third with five points, while Madagascar are rock bottom with just one point.
The Black Stars were missing some key players, including Alexander Djiku, Dede Ayew, Mohammed Salisu, and Dennis Odoi, due to various injuries sustained.
Ghana coach Chris Hughton named a surprising line with Thomas Partey dropping to the bench while Antione Semenyo, who scored Ghana’s winning goal in the last encounter, was rewarded with a start.
It was a blockbuster start from the Black Antelopes as they mounted incessant pressure on the Black Stars defence in search of the opener.
Ghana’s goalkeeper Ati Zigi was the busier of the two goalkeepers, having produced some good saves to keep the game scoreless at halftime.
Angola was awarded a penalty at the start of the second half by Egyptian referee Mohammed Maarouf after Daniel Amartey fouled Gelson in the penalty box.
Lucas Joao stepped up from 12 yards and struck the ball past Ati-Zigi to give the Black Antelopes a deserved lead.
Ghana coach Chris Hughton made some changes by bringing on Joseph Painstil, Inaki Williams, and Osman Bukari with a quarter of the game left.
Amazingly, the three substitutes combined to produce Ghana’s equaliser as Painstil beautifully teed up Bukari, who converted from close range in the 72nd minute.
Painstil had a huge chance to win the game for Ghana in the late stages of the match, but his effort skewed wide as both sides shared the points.
Ghana’s next match would be an away fixture in June against Madagascar, who have a slim chance of qualifying for next year’s AFCON.
Ghana’s Starting Line-up: Lawrence Ati-Zigi (GK), Kingsley Schndler, Gideon Mensah, Joseph Addo, Daniel Amartey, Edmund Addo (Majeed Ashimeru), Salis Samed (Joseph Painstil), Mohammed Kudus (Osman Bukari), Jordan Ayew, Antione Semenyo (Inaki Williams)