Royals right-back Andy Yiadom started for Ghana against Tunisia in the AFCON round of 16 on Monday, but the Black Stars’ tournament was cruelly ended after a penalty shootout exit.
Kasim Nuhu almost gave Ghana an early lead when he found space at the back post from a corner, but the woodwork came to Tunisia’s rescue as his header came crashing off the left upright.
Minutes short of the break, controversy struck when Tunisia failed to clear from a corner. The ball found its way to Jordan Ayew, who’s centre was back-heeled into the net by his brother Andre Ayew.
The referee signalled for an apparent handball in the build-up, although it wasn't clear as to where. The replays also showed a possible offside, but with no VAR until the quarter-finals, there was no review and the original decision stood and the goal disallowed.
After the restart, both parties came close to pushing for an opener, Ellyes Skhiri heading against the crossbar for Tunisia.
The breakthrough finally came and Ghana found themselves a goal down when impressive wide play from Wajdi Kechrida found Taha Khenissi in the centre who made no mistake in giving his side the lead.
With only stoppage time left to play, a deep Ghana free-kick was sent forwards by Mubarak Wakaso, and Bedoui in the Tunisia defence got his angles all wrong, heading the ball backwards and into his own net – disaster for the Tunisians but a lifeline for Yiadom and the Black Stars.
A guarded affair in extra-time ended in stalemate, so penalties would decide who would progress to the competition’s last eight.
A change in the goalkeeping department for Tunisia in extra-time proved to be decisive, as substitute Farouk Ben Mustapha produced the only save of the shootout to send Tunisia through to the quarter-finals.
Congratulations to Andy and Ghana on their run in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, reaching the knockout stages. Andy will now enjoy a little hard-earned rest before returning to training with the Royals in due course.