Ghana’s start to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations was disappointing, as they suffered an embarrassing defeat to Cape Verde in their Group B match on Sunday night in Abidjan. Despite a surprising lineup by Black Stars head coach Chris Hughton, the Blue Sharks, led by Portuguese coach Pedro Bubista, secured a 2-1 victory at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
The match saw Cape Verde take an early lead 17 minutes in, with Jamiro Monteiro capitalizing on a goalkeeper error by Richard Ofori, converting a rebound from Jovane Cabral’s powerful shot. Although Majeed Ashimeru scored for Ghana during a goalmouth scramble, VAR disallowed the effort for offside in the 36th minute.
In the second half, the Black Stars made a comeback, as defender Alexander Djiku equalized by heading in a corner kick from Jordan Ayew shortly after the break. Cape Verde had opportunities to secure the win, but Ofori’s saves, including a crucial block against Cabral and denying Gerry Rodrigues, kept Ghana in the game.
However, Rodrigues eventually took advantage of a defensive blunder, securing the winning goal for Cape Verde that sent Ghana to the bottom of Group B.
The Black Stars will aim for a comeback on Thursday, January 18, 2023, when they face Egypt at the same venue, while Cape Verde takes on Mozambique from the same group.