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Kebede equalizer leaves Ghana disappointed as Black Stars and Ethiopia draw in Johannesburg

Ghana put themselves in a position to obtain three points against Ethiopia on Thursday, but the Black Stars could not see out the result as the teams played out a 1-1 draw in South Africa. Black Stars captain André Ayew opened the scoring with an excellent free kick but a resilient Ethiopia side worked their way back into the match and found their deserved equalizer in the second half courtesy of a giveaway by the Ghanaian defense. With the result, Ghana tie South Africa at the top of Group G with ten points but Bafana Bafana can put some pace between them and Ghana with a win against Zimbabwe later on.

Neither team looked to sit back and absorb pressure, leading to a match that had plenty of chances for both sides. In the 6th minute, Ethiopia goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko did brilliantly to deny both Ayew and Richmond Boakye inside ten yards after the Ethiopian defense dealt poorly with a cross. After gifting Ghana the winning goal when the teams met earlier in the campaign, Shanko redeemed himself in this match.

However, Shanko had no chance in the 22nd minute when Boakye was shoved outside the penalty area and Ayew stepped up to take the free kick, sending a curling effort beyond the Ethiopian Coffee player and into the goal. Ayew’s goal spurred some life into the Ethiopian attack, with two shots from Dawa Hotessa bringing Ghana keeper Jojo Wollacott into the action but failing to beat the Swindon Town backstop.

After going into the halftime break up 1-0, the Black Stars really struggled in the second half and allowed Ethiopia to assert themselves. In the 57th minute, a giveaway from the Ghanaian defense allowed Shimelis Bekele a look at goal for the Walias, but Ethiopia’s veteran leader could not keep his shot down. However, another giveaway in the 72nd minute would lead to Ghana’s demise. Joseph Aidoo struggled to control the ball in his own half and Abubeker Nassir poked the ball away before receiving the ball and setting up Kebede. With an open look from inside ten yards, Ethiopia’s all-time leading scorer made no mistake and blasted his shot by Wollacott to equalize.

Ghana will be disappointed in their failure to hold off the Ethiopian attack after Ayew’s brilliant opener, but the result was fair in the end as Ethiopia fought hard despite being already eliminated from qualifying contention. Click the button below to see highlights of the match.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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