The Black Stars of Ghana were held to a disappointing goalless draw against Madagascar in their AFCON 2023 Qualifiers at the Stade Kianja Barea Mahamasina in Antananarivo
Ghana who needed just a win to qualify for the next edition of the African Cup of nations in Ivory coast with a game at hand, failed to live to expectations as they were wasteful in the entire game.
The Bareas, however looked very compact in both halves of the game.
Coach Hughton handed Moldovan based Patrick Kpozo his debut as well as starting in-form winger Joseph Paintsil and Kamaldeen Sulemana.
Ghana dominated much possessions in the first half but were very wasteful with their final-thirds.
Andre Ayew came so close to scoring in the dying embers of the first half but his header from Jordan's free kick was wide.
In the second half, on the 56th minute, Thomas Partey had Ghana's first shot on goal but his effort was tipped off by Nina Razakanirina.
Madagascar nearly snatched the lead on the 64th minute after skipper Carolus Andriamahitsinoro was put through with a decent pass but his strike across the face of goal.
It ended goalless after durations as both sides failed to find the back of the net.
Ghana are still leading Group E with 9 points but will still have to wait till the final game against African Central Republic to confirm their qualification.
Speaking in his post-match interview after the game, Chris Hughton expressed his disappointment.
"We are very disappointed. We came here with the attitude and mindset to win. To win a football match you need to score goals. We found it difficult. We needed to be more forceful to create more opportunities to score."
“The fact that we didn’t score is the most disappointing thing,”-he added.
“Our strategy for the next match is to win. We are playing at home. We know we have to win. We are aware of the consequences if we don’t win. We will be ready for the game in September. Our mindset is to win this game,"- Coach Chris Hughton said.
Ghana will take on Central African Republic in their final qualification game in September at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium to confirm their participation in the next AFCON championship to be held in Ivory coast.