GiF Love for Black Stars in photos

Avram Grant’s side put their friendly defeat to Senegal behind but could only settle for a lone-goal draw against the Malian Eagles in Paris on Tuesday

Ghana are still without a win after the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. The Black Stars drew 1-1 with Mali in an international friendly match played in Paris on Tuesday.

Ghana coach Avram Grant started with a 4-3-3 formation as opposed to the traditional 4-4-2 employed in his previous outing against Senegal on Saturday.

Striker Richmond Boakye Yiadom, Christian Atsu and Frank Acheampong started in attack. Captain of the day Andre Ayew, Agyemang Badu and Rabiu Mohammed played in midfield.

Ghana showed early promise with a lot of attacking display in the opening exchanges against the Eagles of Mali.

Defender Daniel Amartey, who was handed a starting role following Jonathan Mensah’s failure to recover from an injury he sustained against Senegal, made a timely intervention to deny Mali striker Yatabare Sambou from breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute.

The best chance in the first half fell to Mali in the 27th minute but Sambou’s close-range effort narrowly missed the target, coming off the bar.

The target man for the Black Stars was Italy-based Yiadom, who got a consolation goal against Senegal.

The Atalanta striker’s teasing delivery struck the post prior to the interval, offering a sign of things to come in the second half, as coach Alain Giresse’s men began to control proceedings.

However, moments before the break, a well-worked effort from the left flank between Acheampong and Ayew saw Atsu missing narrowly, ending a first half dominated by Ghana, although Mali did keep goalkeeper Fatau Dauda busy before the interval.

Ghana resumed the second half a more rejuvenated side with consistent raids that kept the Malian defence in a mad scramble, with goal attempts coming from Yiadom, Atsu and Ayew.

The deadlock was broken by Udinese midfielder Agyemang Badu, who nudged his effort past Mali goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite from a Yiadom’s assist in the 56th minute.

Defender John Boye, who was outstanding in the back line during the first half, had to abandon the fray following an injury sustained early in the second stanza.  He was replaced by South African-based Edwin Gyimah.

Just as Ghana lost Boye to injury in the 57th minute, coach Giresse was forced to bring on Mana for danger man Yatabare Sambou, who also sustained a knock from a tackle imposed by Amartey.

Injuries continued to rock Mali as goalkeeper Diakite was taken off for Ali Yirango after a scary collision with Yiadom.

After pressing so hard to pull level, Mali were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute following a foul committed by Yiadom in Ghana box from a corner kick. Midfielder Bakary Sako converted to even the scoreline.

Yiadom was close to redeeming his image for the penalty he caused, when he lunged forth into Mali area unmarked and unleashed a long-range effort that hit the post, with goalkeeper Yirango sprawling helplessly.

Ghana made more changes as they pushed for the winner, with the introduction of Jordan Ayew, David Accam and Kwesi Appiah, all of whom were part of the 2015 Afcon silver- medal winning team.

However, the substitutions failed to yield dividends as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Ghana are yet to win a match since their Equatorial Guinea adventure. They lost 2-1 to Senegal in Le Havre last Saturday.

Mali were beaten 4-3 by Gabon on Wednesday in their previous friendly match played also in France.

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