Ghana’s Futsal AFCON dream off to a rocky start with 5-2 defeat to Zambia

Philip Boakye's boys face a tough test next as they take on defending champions and hosts Morocco on 13 April

Ghana’s hopes for a bright start at the 2024 Futsal Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) were dashed after a 5-2 defeat to Zambia in their opening Group A fixture at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Hall in Rabat, Morocco.

Ghana, making just their second appearance in the competition since a silver medal finish in 1996, took an early lead through Emmanuel Pako Nakotey’s strike in the fifth minute. However, Zambia, led by head coach Andrea Cristoforetti, clawed their way back into the game before halftime courtesy of Patrick Banda’s equaliser.

Despite creating chances through Saviour Tsatsu and captain Timothy Kantanka Ntiamoah, Ghana struggled to maintain control in the first half. Zambia dominated possession and threatened on multiple occasions, with goalkeeper Rapheal Tsigbe forced into several key saves.

The second half belonged entirely to Zambia. Francis Chinyama put them ahead two minutes after the restart with a powerful long-range effort. A minute later, Wiseman Phiri capitalised on Prince Lungu’s assist to extend their lead to 3-1.

Ghana responded with a goal from Philip Nii Boye following a pass from Tsatsu, but their hopes were quickly extinguished by two quick goals from Mbalika Mwaliteta and Jackson Simwami. This secured Zambia’s position at the top of Group A.

Speaking post-match, Ghana head coach Philip Boakye acknowledged his team’s lapses in concentration. “We started well and then we lost concentration, which allowed Zambia to come into the game,” he admitted. “Zambia played a very good game and we have seen some tactics and we are going to work on our finishing.”

“I think it was a lack of concentration but we will work on it and improve for our second match. Our boys did well but it was the lack of concentration and we are going to work on it for our second match,” he concluded.

Ghana face a tough test next as they take on defending champions and hosts Morocco on 13 April.

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