BY STEVE AYOO
Ghana’s record of reaching at least the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in each of the previous six editions came to a crushing finale as they were knocked out at the last 16 stage of the 2019 edition, losing 5-4 to Tunisia on post-match penalties.
Ghana’s Caleb Ekuban was the only player to miss his spot kick during the shootouts as Tunisia goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha made the save.
A last minute own goal from Tunisia’s Rami Bedoui denied them the chance to win the tie in normal time after Taha Khenissi goal midway through the first half seemed to have earned the Carthage Eagles victory.
In extra time, Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazri, a second half substitute, sent in a stinging effort in the 98th minute that drew a superb save from Richard Ofori while Ghana’s Jordan Ayew blew a fine chance inside the area as he volleyed wide.
Owusu Kwabena almost won it for Ghana in the last minute of extra time but his effort was kept out by Mouez Hassen as the Ismailia crowd braced for a penalty treat.
Tunisia, who are yet to win a game in normal time after three group stage draws, will face surprise package Madagascar in the quarter-finals on Thursday, July 11 in Al Salam.
Madagascar were also taken to penalties in their last 16 battle with the DR Congo which they won.