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Sports News of Sunday, 10 October 2004

Source: GNA

Ghana draw with DR Congo in World Cup qualifier

Kumasi, Oct 10, GNA - Ghana's Black Stars were held to a pulsating goalless drawn game with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in their World Cup qualifying match at the Kumasi Sports stadium on Sunday.

Ghana, fielding both local and foreign players, plunged into action after Malian referee, Coulibally Koman whistled for hostilities to begin and missed a chance to score in the third minute.

The Congolese quickly took over and moved deep into Ghanaian territory but two shots in the fourth and sixth minutes were saved by goalkeeper Sammy Adjei.

Ghana sensing danger, played it hard and had a corner kick in the eighth minute but the chance was wasted. They continued to pile pressure and pinned the Congolese to their half but the defence stood gallantly with their goalkeeper Kalemba Lukoki coming out to save most of the dangerous situations.

In the 32nd minute, Insumbu Dituabanza was shown the yellow card for rough play just outside the box but the free kick taken by Samuel Osei Kuffuor was wasted.

Ghana nearly came to scoring but Sulley Muntari's shot went off target in the 35th minute.

DRC also counter attacked but could not put their set pieces together to find the opener.

On resumption of the second half, Coach Sam Arday substituted Tanko Ibrahim for Bernard Don Bortey and this nearly paid off for Ghana when he announced his presence with a two-man move with skipper Stephen Appiah and who in an attempt to score was brought down in the box.

The referee whistled for a penalty but after consulting his assistant referee, he rescinded his decision and instead awarded a free kick against Ghana in the 48th minute.

Don Bortey was on target again in the 57th minute but his 20-metre shot was saved by the Congolese goalkeeper while Sulley Muntari's header at goal was also saved in the 58th minute.

DR Congo brought in Mbala Mbuta for Kimoto Okitankoy and Kaluyituka Dioko for Ilongo Ngasanya in the 59th and 65th minutes respectively to strengthen the attack and the defence.

With the spectators calling for more vim into the attack, Coach Arday brought on Kwadwo Poku for Muntari in the 70th minute. John Mensah was shown the yellow card in the 73rd minute. The Congolese mounted an attack in the 75th minute but Mbayo Kibemba's shot missed target narrowly.

Baffour Gyan was also flashed the yellow card for using his hand in an attempt to score in the 77th minute.

Eric Gawu took over from Baffour Gyan in the 81st minute but it was the DR Congo lads who made a last minute onslaught forcing Ghana to play a defensive game with smallish substitute Mbuta making things difficult for the defence.