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Soccer News of Thursday, 9 October 2003

Source: Richard Avornyotse, GNA Special

Abuja 2003: Ghana 1 Cameroon 1

Abuja, Oct 8 - GNA - The Black Meteors, the national under 23 soccer team on Wednesday played a 1-1 draw with their counterparts from Cameroon in a group match at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar, Cross River State. The Ghanaians took the lead on 19 minutes when Edmund Owusu Ansah headed home from a teasing pull out from the left flank by Benard Dong Bortey.

The Meteors attacked in bursts after kick off and could have gone ahead much earlier, but Asamoah Gyan failed to utilise a fine chance on seven minuites.

The Cameroonians announced their resolve to fight to the wire when Ngon Guy Bertrand released a bullet which Ghanaian goalkeeper George Owu struggled to save.

Two minutes later, another fine opportunity fell to the Ghanaians but Bortey failed to react quickly, as Paul Essola, the Cameroonian goalkeeper spilled a shot from Gyan.

The Meteors appeared relaxed after the goal, while the Cameronians swung into action with their physical approach, looking for the equaliser.

The resilience of the Cameroonians yielded dividends when Oscar Wansi scored with a header, which bounced on the goal line and slid through the legs of Muntaru Saliu who was a sentry in the Ghanaian post. Galvanised by their success at levelling up the scores, the Cameroonians throttled harder and dominated the Meteors for a while. But the best chance of the dying minutes of the first half went the way of the Ghanaians, but skipper Chibsah Yussuf shot wide when he had the goal on sight.

The Ghanaians came out smoking in the second half but their anxiety to score left gaps in their defence and when the Cameroonians had possession, it looked, rather very dangerous for the their opponents.

The tough tackling Cameroonians sustained the pressure on the Ghanaians but Dan Coleman marshalled his colleagues at the back to prevent any disaster.

Late in the game, the Ghanaians upped their game and created some chances, but they failed to make hay.

The Cameroonians nearly had the last laugh, but Owu fingered a dangerous headed ball to corner, which their opponents failed to convert.

Even the ejection of Kwadwo Poku, Yahuza Abubakar and Asamoah Gyan for Eric Gawu, Shaibu Yakubu and Charles Taylor could not provide the Meteors the goal they needed to register their first victory at the Games.

The Meteors drew their first match zero, zero with Algeria while the Cameroonians defeated Egypt by two goals to one.

The Meteors will face the Egyptians in their last group match and the Cameroonians will clash with Algeria.

Earlier in the first group match of the day, Algeria beat Egypt by two goals to one.

GHANA: George Owu, Muntari Saliu, Issa Gabriel, Mohammed Adamu, Kwadwo Poku/Shaibu Yakubu, Yahuza Abubakar/Eric Gawu, Benard Don Bortey, Asanoah Gyan/Charles Taylor, Daniel Coleman, Chibsah Yussuf, Edmund Owusu Ansah

Statistics from the game

  • Corners:(Ghana) 2 (Cameroon) 7
  • Fouls :(Ghana) 14 (Cameroon) 18
  • Shots :(Ghana) 9 (Cameroon) 9
  • Offsides : (Ghana)6 (Cameroon) 3

Cameroon had defeated Zambia in the final four years ago in Johannesburg, but they could miss out on reaching the semi-finals if they lose their final Group B match to second-placed Algeria on Saturday.

Algeria 2 Egypt 1

Egypt were confirmed out of the tournament after their 2-1 defeat to North African rivals Algeria.

Algeria now have a great chance to finish top of the group if they beat Cameroon on Saturday.

The result left Egypt pointless at the bottom of Group B and unable to qualify for the later rounds.

Fixtures and results:

4 Oct
Nigeria 2-0 Zambia
Senegal 1-1 South Africa

7 Oct
Zambia 2-1 Senegal
South Africa 0-3 Nigeria

10 Oct
Zambia v South Africa
Nigeria v Senegal

Group B:
Cameroon 2 1 0 0 4 2 4
Algeria 2 1 1 0 2 1 4
Ghana 2 0 2 0 1 1 2
Egypt 2 0 0 1 2 5 0

Fixtures and results:

5 Oct
Cameroon 3-1 Egypt
Algeria 0-0 Ghana

8 Oct
Egypt 1-2 Algeria
Ghana 1-1 Cameroon

11 Oct
Egypt v Ghana
Cameroon v Algeria


13 Oct
1st Group A v 2nd Group B (Bauchi)
1st Group B v 2nd Group A (Calabar)


16 Oct Abuja