Comoros and Ghana played out a 0-0 draw in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Friday afternoon at the Stade Said Mohammed Cheikh in Mitsamiouli. Although both teams came close to scoring, they did not do enough on the day to secure the win and a draw seemed a fair result. Zimbabwean referee Norman Matemera’s half-time whistle was followed by loud cheers as Les Coelecantes managed to hold African giants Ghana to a goalless first period.
The hosts came out firing and almost went ahead in the third minute when Akrane Mohamed hit the upright. The home team was attacking with intent and defended in numbers when the opposition was in possession of the ball. Although the visitors were the more dominant outfit, they were wasteful at set-pieces and lacked creativity in attack.
In the 34th minute, the islanders came close again, but Nasser Chamed could not keep his effort on target after racing towards goal down the left wing. The Ghanaians were not to be outdone by their opponents and very nearly went into the half-time break with an advantage when Harrison Afful cut in from the right wing, however his effort would shave over the crossbar and the half would end in a stalemate. The Black Stars came out shining in the second period, dominating proceedings and should have been ahead in the 67th minute when Andre Ayew dragged his effort wide of the goal after a rampaging run into the box.
Avram Grant’s men were moving the ball around well, restarting the ball from the back and working it into the island nations’ half, almost like a training ground routine. With just over 20 minutes remaining, Amir Abdou decided to ring the changes and it almost paid off in the 81st minute when Ali M’Madi nodded in what seemed to be the opening goal. Despite replays suggesting that the forward was onside, the referee’s assistant ruled the effort out.
Nasser Chamed had seen his effort bounce just wide of the upright moments earlier and the crowd were roaring in appreciation of their team’s efforts. One could feel the tension rising as the final whistle neared and the West Aficans came close to taking the lead twice in the 84th minute but were denied by the upright on both occasions and had to settle for a draw. The two teams will meet again next Tuesday.
Comoros: Ben Boina, Abdallah, Chaker Alhadhur, Ibrahim Rachidi, Mogni, Yousssouf M’Changama, Hamadi Combo, Halifa Soule, Youssouf, Chamed, Akrane Mohamed.
Subs: Ibrahim Madihali, Youssouf, M’Madi, Fouad Bachirou, Mohamed M’Changama, Ahamada, Mahamoud Mroivili, Alhadar Athoumane, Joseph Yousouff, Salimo Velonjara.
Coach: Amir Abdou
Ghana: Razak Brimah, Afriyie Acquah, Jordan Ayew, Andre Ayew, Mubarak Wakaso, Asante, Baba, Jonathan Mensah, Jogn Boye, Abdul Majeed Waris, Afful
Subs: Ofosu-Ayeh, Asamoah Gyan, Edwin Gyimah, Mohammed Rabiu, Tetteh, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Richard Ofori, Assifuah, Schlupp, Fatau Dauda, Daniel Amartey, David Accam.
Coach: Avram Grant
Referee: Norman Matemera (Zim)
Venue: Stade Said Mohamed Cheikh