The Black Stars lost their first game of the series after conceding late on the road
A Mohammed Abdel Rahman’s late effort handed Sudan a 1-0 home victory over Ghana in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers on Tuesday.
The injury time goal secured all three points for the hosts in the Group C matchday three fixture at Al Hilal Stadium in Omdurman.
The defeat has denied the Black Stars an early qualification for the next continental gathering in Cameroon as a win or draw on Tuesday would have been just enough.
The west Africans, nonetheless, still top their group and remain in position to secure one of two qualification slots when the series resumes in March next year.
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Ghana coach CK Akonnor made five changes to his starting XI, bringing in Fatau Dauda and striker Caleb Ekuban for suspended first-choice goalkeeper Richard Ofori Antwi and injured captain Andre Ayew respectively.
Amiens defender Nicholas Opoku, China-based Mubarak Wakaso and Crystal Palace winger Jeffrey Schlupp also replaced Christopher Nettey, Emmanuel Lomotey and Samuel Owusu respectively.
In the absence of Andre, who scored both goals in Thursday’s 2-0 home triumph on matchday three, younger brother Jordan Ayew took over the captain’s armband.
In a first half of few chances, Jordan made Ghana’s first attempt for the opener, hitting a shot across the face of goal.
Then Ekuban just failed to head-connect with a Wakaso lofted ball into the box moments later.
In the 26th minute, Abdel Rahman had arguably the best chance of the first stanza but his shot from inside the box failed to beat Ghana goalkeeper Dauda.
Seven minutes after the interval, Jordan produced Ghana’s first shot on target, releasing a thunderbolt from range which called Sudan goalkeeper Ali Abdullah Abu Eshrein into action.
The captain tested Eshrein with a free-kick in the 86th minute, the Al Merreikh goalkeeper proving up to the task one more time.
As things looked headed for a draw, Sudan stung Ghana in the second minute of injury time as Abdel Rahman beat Boye to a cross to head the ball into the net for the match winner.
With six points to their name, the north Africans are third on the league table, three marks behind Ghana and South Africa who sit joint-top on nine points.