Ghana suffer World Cup setback
| Updated Sep 01, 2017 at 7:50pm
Ghana's hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia have suffered a massive blow following a 1-1 draw against Congo at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Friday.
Thievy Bifouma and Thomas Partey found the back of the net for their respective countries as the two nations remain in third and fourth place respectively in Group E.
While Congo will take heart from the result, it serves as no real help for either the Black Stars or the Red Devils heading into the reverse fixture in Brazzaville, as Uganda and Egypt continue to lead the way.
For Kwesi Appiah's men, who carried a 50-year unbeaten record against their counterparts into the clash, they are now in serious danger of seeing their chances of a fourth world showpiece appearance in succession go up in smoke.
The Black Stars looked nervous from the onset and almost conceded as early as the fourth minute as a lack of communication between Daniel Amartey and Richard Ofori created a chance for Bifouma who failed at the final hurdle.
Partey had the ball in the back of the net for the hosts in the 14th minute, but he looked rather sheepish as he hammered home - his attempt was duly chalked off with the assistant's flag raised.
Congo opened the scoring four minutes later as a mistake by Josef Attamah paved the way for Fabrice Nguessi to tee up Bifouma for an easy finish - the forward building on his impressive international record.
Partey - a defensive midfielder by trade - continued to provide Ghana's biggest threat with the Atletico Madrid man seeing his rasping shot well saved by Barel Mouko in the 38th minute.
Congo were 1-0 up at the break.
Appiah introduced Harrison Afful following the interval and the USA-based defender made a visible impact as his rasping effort cannoned into the side-netting in the 70th minute.
Jordan Ayew was then denied by Moukou who got down well to keep out the forward's shot from close range.
The Black Stars continued to surge forward in attack and finally got their reward in the 85th minute as Partey slipped the ball into the back of the net from a Christian Atsu through ball.
Ghana, though, were unable to find the winner as their World Cup hopes now hang by a thread.
Ghana (0) 1 (Partey 85')
Congo (1) 1 (Bifouma 18')
Ghana: R.Ofori; Attamah (Afful 46'), Mensah, Amartey, Schlupp - Partey, E.Ofori, A.Ayew (Poku 68') - Atsu, J.Ayew, Gyan (Agyapong 62')
Congo:Mouko; Itoua, Baudry, Mayembo, Badila - Avounou, Gandze, Bahamboula (Dambou 83') - Nguessi (Ndinga 56'), Bifouma, Dore (Tsoumou 71')