Home » Comoros Stun Ghana with Historic Win in World Cup Qualifiers

Comoros Stun Ghana with Historic Win in World Cup Qualifiers

Island nation secure first ever victory over four-time African champions in Moroni

by Motoni Olodun

Comoros have pulled off a sensational upset by defeating Ghana 1-0 in the 2026 World Cup African qualifiers on Tuesday. The island nation, ranked 128th in the world by FIFA, secured their first-ever victory over the four-time African champions, who are 50 places above them.

The decisive goal came in the 43rd minute when Myziane Maolida received a long pass from the midfield and beat the offside trap to slot the ball past Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori. The 24-year-old striker, who plays for French club Nice, celebrated his fourth international goal with his teammates and the jubilant home fans at the Stade Omnisports de Malouzini.

Ghana, coached by former Brighton manager Chris Hughton, tried to find an equaliser in the second half but were frustrated by the resilient Comoros defence and the lack of clear chances. The Black Stars also had to cope with the hot and humid conditions in Moroni, which added to their fatigue and discomfort.

The result left Ghana in third place in Group I, behind leader Comoros and second-place Mali, who beat Central African Republic 2-0 in Bamako. Ghana have three points from two matches, while Comoros have four points from two matches. The top team from each group will qualify automatically for the 2026 World Cup, while the four best runners-up will enter a playoff round.

This was the second consecutive defeat for Ghana in the qualifiers after they lost 2-3 to Mali in Kumasi in September. Hughton, who took over the Ghana job in February 2023, following the resignation of Otto Addo after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, admitted that his team were below par and conceded a poor goal.

“We were not at our best today, and we have to give credit to Comoros for their performance. They defended well and took their chance when it came. We conceded what we regarded as a poor goal to concede, and we were not able to capitalize on the chances that we had,” Hughton said in the post-match press conference.

The 64-year-old Englishman, who has Ghanaian ancestry, also said that his team still have a chance to qualify, but needs to improve their form and confidence in the remaining matches. He said that he will analyse the game and make the necessary adjustments for the next fixture.

“We are disappointed, but we are not out of the race yet. We have four more games to play, and we have to win as many as possible. We have to work hard, learn from our mistakes, and bounce back stronger. We have a good group of players, and we have to believe in ourselves and our abilities,” he said.

Comoros, on the other hand, were ecstatic with their historic win, which boosted their hopes of reaching their first-ever World Cup. The team, coached by Frenchman Yannick Zerdouk, have been making steady progress in recent years, qualifying for their first Africa Cup of Nations in 2021 and reaching the round of 16.

Zerdouk praised his players for their courage and determination and said that they have shown that they can compete with the best teams in Africa. He also thanked the fans for their support and urged them to keep dreaming.

“This is a fantastic result for us, and I am very proud of my players. They showed great character and spirit, and they fought for every ball. They executed our game plan perfectly, and they deserved to win. We have shown that we are not here to make up the numbers, but to challenge for a place in the World Cup,” Zerdouk said.

“I want to thank the fans for their amazing support. They were our 12th man today, and they gave us extra energy and motivation. They have been with us through thick and thin, and we dedicate this win to them. We have made history today, but we have to keep working hard and stay humble. We have a long way to go, but we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We have to keep dreaming and believing,” he added.

The next round of the qualifiers will take place in June 2024, when Comoros will face Madagascar away and Chad at home, while Ghana will play Central African Republic away and Mali at home.

Source: GhanaSoccernet

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