The two West African outfits failed to produce a winner in their friendly meeting on Saturday
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire settled for a 0-0 draw in their friendly meeting in Cape Coast on Saturday.
It was their first clash since meeting in the final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, and a test for both sides ahead of the commencement of the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Teye Partey made a return to Ghana’s starting set-up after being excused from Tuesday’s 1-0 away defeat to Morocco in an earlier friendly.
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Captain Andre Ayew was restored to the first XI after starting the previous game from the bench while goalkeeper Razak Abalora lost his place to Lawrence Ati-Zigi after his howler led to the Black Stars defeat against the Atlas Lions.
Cote d’Ivoire coach Patrice Beaumelle paraded a strong starting XI, naming Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly, Tottenham Hotspur right-back Serge Aurier, AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Ajax striker Sebastien Haller.
Manchester United young winger Amad Diallo was left on the bench despite scoring The Elephants’ winner in a 2-1 triumph against Burkina Faso in a friendly last week.
Despite Ghana starting strongly with possession domination, it was the Ivorians who created the opening scoring chances.
In the 11th minute, Haller headed straight into the arms of Ati-Zigi after connecting to an Ibrahim Sangare cross from the right.
Three minutes later, The Elephants were presented with the best opportunity of the half when Wilfried Singo, having made a marauding run from deep, played a one-two with Haller which set the former face-to-face on goal with Ati-Zigi, but his final shot rolled agonizingly just wide.
Partey then sent a free-kick over the bar for Ghana after Emmanuel Gyasi was brought down, shortly before Jordan Ayew delivered another free-kick which was handled by goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohuo.
On the stroke of half-time, Cote d’Ivoire created the last chance of the stanza when Kessie rose high to head Aurier’s corner but Ati-Zigi was on hand to handle the danger.
After the break, Cote d’Ivoire were first to go close again as Kessie’s shot from outside the box deflected off Alexander Djiku and went just over onto the roof of the net.
It was then a game of a few half-chances. Substitutes Diallo and Max Gradel made scoring attempts for the Ivorians. At the other end, Partey failed to find the back of the net with a header, leaving the score at 0-0 as Senegalese referee Douada Gueye whistled to bring an end to proceedings.
Ghana return to action with a double-header against Ethiopia and South Africa in the World Cup qualifiers in September, the same time Cote d’Ivoire take on Mozambique and Cameroon.