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15th Jan 2022

Ghana striker punches opponent as players clash after AFCON draw

Daniel Brown

AFCON continues to produce drama

Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations clash against Gabon descended into chaos on Friday night with Black Stars player Benjamin Tetteh throwing a punch at an opponent as a mass brawl ensued after full-time.

The game finished 1-1 with Jim Allevinah scoring late to rescue a point for Gabon after André Ayew’s sensational opener had given Ghana the lead.

The Black Stars players, particularly Ayew, were frustrated with the Panthers’ celebrations as the final whistle was blown, with tensions boiling over between both sets of players.

Tetteh – who replaced Ayew in added time – then appeared to throw a punch at Gabon’s Aaron Boupendza, which saw the forward fall to the floor in agony.

With VAR in operation, Tetteh’s punch was spotted while the full-time events were examined, leading to Algerian referee Lahlou Benbraham showing the Ghana man a red card, despite him disappearing down the tunnel as he headed back towards the changing room.

Benbraham spoke to Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey and told the Gunners man to bring ‘number 25’ back from the tunnel, with Tetteh being shown a red card as he emerged.

The disappointing draw puts Ghana’s chances of reaching the AFCON knockout stages in serious doubt, with the Black Stars needing to beat Comoros to stand any chance of progressing from the group.

However, Gabon will be confident that their place in the knockout rounds is all but secured – with Patrice Neveu’s side sitting in second-place on four points.

While Gabon have been impressive in the early stages of the tournament, they have also been performing without captain and talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the first two games due to coronavirus.

The Arsenal striker – who was recently stripped of his captaincy at the North London club – missed the first match against Comoros as he was isolating after testing positive for the virus earlier this month and was not picked for the game against Ghana as post-covid checks showed he had ‘cardiac lesions’.

Ghana face Comoros on Tuesday knowing that they need to win to be in with a chance of progressing from Group C, while a draw against Morocco will be enough to see Gabon into the knockout stages of AFCON.

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