The Black Stars of Ghana kicked off their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a disappointing defeat against Cape Verde on Sunday night at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
The four-time African champions were making their 23rd appearance at the AFCON in Ivory Coast.
After a good start, the Black Stars failed to create any chance in the early minutes of the game.
However, the Island nation warmed themselves into the game and dominated the possession. They broke the deadlock in the 17th minute after Jamiro Monteiro scored from a rebound after Richard Ofori had saved an earlier strike.
The Black Stars, however, started putting their pieces together as they started to create chances. Ghana came close in the 26th minute after Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer failed to connect Gideon Mensah’s cross properly.
The Black Stars thought they had drawn level after Majeed Ashimeru scored in the 38th minute scored a wonderful goal but after a VAR consultation, the goal was ruled out.
Ghana despite their best effort ended the first half of the game losing 1-0 to Cape Verde.
After recess, the Black Stars started well but the Island nation were determined to double their lead but the Ghana defense kept the threat under control.
However, the Black Stars equalized after Alexander Djiku headed home a corner in the 56th minute.
Ghana came close again but Joseph Paintsil failed to connect Semenyo’s delicious cross. Andre Ayew, Ernest Nuamah and Inaki Williams were all introduced in the 63rd minute.
Nuamah made a quick impact with a powerful cross but there was no Ghanaian play to connect the ball.
Both sides failed to create enough chances but in the closing stages, Cape Verde came close to doubling their lead but Richard Ofori prevented the ball with his feet.
During the added time, the Island nation kept dictating the pace and found the back of the net with Garry Rodrigues scoring in the 92nd minute after the Ghanaian defense collapsed to end the game 2-1.
Ghana, who is on a quest to end its 42-year AFCON trophy drought will face record holders, Egypt on Thursday at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan with kick-off scheduled at 20:00GMT.