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Morocco reach last-16, Ghana hopes in peril at Cup of Nations

Morocco booked a place in the last-16 of the Africa Cup of Nations while Gabon, Guinea and Senegal are also likely through but four-time champions Ghana are in danger of early elimination after Friday’s four matches at the tournament in Cameroon.

Morocco beat the Comoros Islands 2-0 for a second win and top place in Group C on six points followed by Gabon on four after they scored a late equaliser to hold Ghana 1-1 in the second game played in Yaounde.

Jim Allevinah’s 88th-minute strike is almost sure to see Gabon through, if not as one of the top two in the group then as one of the four best third-placed finishers in the six groups.

But Ghana are in danger on one point and must beat Comoros in their final group game in Garoua on Tuesday to stand any chance of advancing as they seek their first title in 40 years.

The match ended in an unsavoury punch-up after being littered with niggling fouls with Ghana’s Benjamin Tetteh sent off for a wild punch thrown in the post-match fracas.

Gabon’s point was wildly celebrated by their camp and made even sweeter by the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) refusal before the match to let their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang take part, even though he was training on the eve of the clash after being released from Covid-19 quarantine.

“According to the Caf medical commission, the players Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Axel Meye and Mario Lemina, barely out of Covid isolation, cannot take part in this match. Medical examinations show cardiac lesions and Caf did not want to take any risks,” the Gabon Football Federation tweeted.