2023 U-23 AFCON: Nuamah, Yeboah Star as Meteors Beat Congo

Ghana’s Black Meteors defeated a tenacious Congo team in a thrilling match in the 2023 U-23 AFCON, winning by a score of 3-2, with Ernest Nuamah of FC Nordsjælland in Denmark, and Emmanuel Yeboah of CFR Cluj, in Romania, playing starring roles; the latter, Yeboah, coming off the bench to score twice and assist the other for Ernest Nuamah.

After putting on a mediocre first half, the Ghanaian team showed resiliency and tactical acumen in the second, and coach Ibrahim Tanko’s two key substitutes helped them win the match.

Congo, though, made a late push and scored two quick goals, setting up a dramatic finish to the game.

2023 U-23 AFCON First Half; Ghana vs Congo

Both teams were keen to establish their authority on the field as the game began.

To many people’s amazement, Congo, who were making their debut, showed exceptional poise and attacking skill, opening up a number of good opportunities.

However, their efforts went wasted as they were unable to turn their chances into goals, which allowed Ghana to breathe a sigh of relief.

The Black Meteors put in what could pass for a mediocre display in the opening period; they had trouble getting into their groove and were fortunate to go into the break with the score at 0-0.

The Metoers’ only bright spot, in that lackluster first half, was Ernest Nuamah who showed brilliance with his runs and crosses into the box.

Afriyie Barnieh, leading the line for Ghana, and skipping the side, barely had any sight at goal.

He got replaced at halftime.

Second Half

Second Half hero, Emmanuel Yeboah adjudged Man-of-the-match in the opening game

The Ghanaian team appeared to have been reenergized by coach Ibrahim Tanko’s halftime team talk as they came out of the break with new-found vigor in their opening game of the 2023 U-23 AFCON.

Coach Tanko made two brilliant replacements after realizing the necessity for change that would eventually prove crucial.

One of the substitutes, Emmanuel Yeboah, soon made an impact by contributing a significant assist for Ghana’s first goal, giving the attack new life.

Ernest Nuamah was the scorer of the Meteors’ first goal.

Emmanuel Yeboah took a neat pass from Fatawu, and squared the ball to the onrushing Nuamah, to poke the ball into the yawning net.

In what is becoming his style, Abdul Issahaku Fatawu’s goal would most definitely have been the most talked about out of Ghana’s three goals had his long ball from the Meteors half, beaten the Congo goalkeeper.

The keeper got beaten anyway, but his blushes were spared by the post as Fatawu’s outrageous drive hit the post and came back into play.

That would have been some goal!

With his assist for the Black Meteors’ first goal, Emmanuel Yeboah apparently was not done with his brilliance.

Ghana’s confidence increased after the goal, and they started to control the proceedings.

The replacement player, Emmanuel Yeboah, kept up his impressive form, scoring two more goals, one of them, a penalty in dramatic fashion (the penalty had to be taken three times).

As the team sprinted to a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead, well in control of the game, the few Ghanaian supporters exploded in cheers.

But this 2023 U-23 AFCON appears to have many surprises for everyone.

Congo was poised to leave their stamp on the game.

If you are able to beat Tunisia and South Africa to the spot at the 2023 U-23 AFCON, you certainly have something up your sleeves, and Congo showed what they were made of, late on.

In an unexpected turn of events, they mounted a heroic late comeback, scoring twice in the span of a minute.

The tide turned in favor of the Congolese team as the Black Meteors’ defense was caught off guard.

Tension erupted in the arena with only a few seconds left as both teams fought ferociously for dominance.

Ghana showed fortitude and calm to weather the storm and maintain their little lead despite the late scare.

The final whistle assured the Ghanaian team of a valiant 3-2 victory in a game that kept fans on the edge of their seats for the last few minutes as Congo attempted a comeback.

Black Meteors in Jubilant Mood

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.


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