2023 U23 AFCON: Ghana Beat Congo – Nuamah, Yeboah star as meteos. In a thrilling match at the 2023 U-23 AFCON, Ghana‘s Black Meteors emerged victorious against a tenacious Congo team, winning by a score of 3-2. Ernest Nuamah of FC Nordsjælland in Denmark and Emmanuel Yeboah of CFR Cluj in Romania played starring roles in the match, with Yeboah coming off the bench to score twice and assist in Nuamah’s goal.
Despite a mediocre first half, the Ghanaian team showed resiliency and tactical acumen in the second half, with coach Ibrahim Tanko’s key substitutions proving instrumental in securing the win. However, Congo refused to go down without a fight and mounted a late push, scoring two quick goals and setting up a dramatic finish to the game.
The match was a testament to the skill and determination of both teams, with Ghana ultimately emerging victorious thanks to their strong performance in the second half. The contributions of Nuamah and Yeboah were particularly noteworthy, highlighting the importance of having a strong bench and utilizing tactical substitutions effectively in high-pressure matches.
2023 U23 AFCON First Half; Ghana vs Congo
As the game began, both teams were eager to establish their authority on the field. To the amazement of many, Congo, who were making their debut in the tournament, showed exceptional poise and attacking skill, creating a number of good opportunities early on. However, despite their efforts, they were unable to convert their chances into goals, allowing Ghana to breathe a sigh of relief and maintain a clean sheet.
In contrast to Congo’s strong start, the Black Meteors struggled to find their footing in the opening period, putting in a display that could be described as mediocre at best. They had difficulty getting into their groove and were fortunate to go into the break with the score at 0-0. Despite this lackluster performance, Ernest Nuamah provided a bright spot for the team, displaying brilliance with his runs and crosses into the box.
Afriyie Barnieh, who was leading the line for Ghana and captaining the side, barely had any sight at goal in the first half. As a result, he was replaced at halftime in a tactical move by coach Ibrahim Tanko.
Second Half 2023 U23 AFCON Ghana beat Congo
The halftime team talk by coach Ibrahim Tanko seemed to have reenergized the Ghanaian team, as they emerged from the break with newfound vigor in their opening game of the 2023 U-23 AFCON. Coach Tanko made two brilliant substitutions that proved crucial to the team’s success.
One of the substitutes, Emmanuel Yeboah, wasted no time making an impact by contributing a significant assist for Ghana’s first goal, injecting new energy into the team. Ernest Nuamah was the scorer of the Meteors’ first goal, with Yeboah taking a neat pass from Abdul Issahaku Fatawu and squaring the ball to the onrushing Nuamah, who poked the ball into the net.
Abdul Issahaku Fatawu’s goal would have undoubtedly been the most talked-about of Ghana’s three goals, had his long ball from the Meteors half beaten the Congo goalkeeper. Unfortunately, the keeper was spared by the post as Fatawu’s outrageous drive hit the post and came back into play, denying Ghana what would have been a spectacular goal.
Despite the missed opportunity, Ghana’s confidence increased after the first goal, and they began to control the proceedings. Emmanuel Yeboah kept up his impressive form, scoring two more goals, one of them from a penalty that had to be retaken three times due to infringements by the Congolese team.
As the team sprinted to a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead, well in control of the game, the few Ghanaian supporters exploded in cheers. However, the 2023 U-23 AFCON had many surprises in store for everyone, including a late comeback attempt by Congo.
In an unexpected turn of events, Congo mounted a heroic late comeback, scoring twice in the span of a minute and catching the Black Meteors’ defense off guard. Tension erupted in the arena with only a few seconds left as both teams fought fiercely for dominance.
With the 3:2 victory against Congo in their opening 2023 U-23 AFCON outing, Ghana’s Black Meteors sit atop the table, above hosts, Morocco–only on goals scored–as the hosts won in dramatic fashion in their opening game, after coming out 2:0 winners against Guinea.
Ghana’s next game sees them battle hosts Morocco on Tuesday, while Congo, sitting bottom of the table, battles Guinea.
It is not only the trophy that is at stake for the Black Meteors as they look to book a place in Paris 2024 Olympic Games, after losing out last time out against South Africa.
The top three teams in the 2023 U-23 AFCON are assured of qualifying from Africa for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.