It was a 4:5 penalty shootouts that ended Ghana’ dream of lifting the AFCON 2019.
The tournament with lot of surprises has witnessed the defending champions Cameroon alongside Morocco and seven times champions Egypt booted out with Ghana being the latest to join the train, losing 4:5 on penalty shootouts to Tunisia after 1:1 in regulation today at the Ismailia Stadium.
The Black Stars who were yet to taste a defeat against the Carthage Eagles, started the game on a higher note with Kasim Nuhu Adams, Andre Dede Ayew and others missing some decent chances.
The search for the opener in the cagey encounter got very intense as Ghana continued to mount pressure on the Tunisians with Afriyie Acquah being denied the chance to break the virginity as his strike in the 27th minutes was blocked to corner.
Captain Andre Ayew tabbed in Thomas Teye Partey’s cross in the 41st minutes but the goal was disallowed with the assistant referee flagging for offside against Partey.
The first forty-five minutes ended in a goalless with Ghana wining the possession.
Ghana returned from the break with another energetic showdown, pressing harder for the opener but to no avail.
Andre Dede Ayew headed home a cross in the 52nd minutes but the Tunisia goalkeeper came in to save the ball from entering his net.
The North African side also started making incursions which resulted in Taha Yassine Khenissi 73rd minutes opener.
Coach Kwesi Appiah substituted midfielder Afriyie Acquah for striker Caleb Ekuban in the 74th minutes to strengthen the attacking front of the Black Stars.
Kwesi Appiah continued to throw more weight upfront as Asamoah Gyan came in to replace Andre Dede Ayew in the 82nd minutes.
As if there was no hope for the Black Stars, Tunisia defender Rami Bedoui headed Mubarak Wakaso’s cross to his own net, restoring parity for Ghana in the 90+1 minutes of the fascinating encounter.
The game travelled to extra time as the 90 minutes ended 1:1.
In the 98th minutes goalkeeper, Richard Ofori brilliantly saved Wahbi Khazri powerful strike to deny the Tunisians the second goal.
Kwabena Owusu came off the bench in the 106th minutes for Samuel Owusu with Abdul Baba Rahman making way for Lumor Agbenyanu in the 115th minutes.
All the tactical changes from coach Kwesi Appiah were not enough as the game ended 1:1 after 120 minutes.
The penalty shootouts saw the Tunisians scoring all the five penalty kicks with Ghana’s Caleb Ekuban missing his even though Mubarak Wakaso, Thomas Teye Partey, Lumor Agbenyanu and Jordan Ayew all scored theirs.