The Black Stars of Ghana could only pick up a point in their opening Group F Afcon game after drawing 2-2 with the Squirrels of Benin.
Two goals by Beninoise forward Michkael Pote sandwiched a quick two goal burst for Ghana by the Ayew brothers.
Despite taking a 2-1 lead into half, an early second half red card rejuvenated opponents Benin leading to their equalizer.
The game started at a frenetic pace with Benin shooting out of the blocks with intensity.
It didn’t take long for the Squirrels to make their presence known, taking a shocking 2nd minute lead.
Thomas Partey was dispossesed in midfield, leaving Ghana’s high defensive line exposed to a quality through ball.
Winger Pote run onto the through ball and turned Kassim Nuhu inside out before calmly slotting past Richard Ofori.
The complacent Black Stars were stunned out of their slumber by that goal and it didn’t take them long to equalize.
Captain Andre Ayew showed his mettle with a superb equalizer after latching onto a deflected pass from his younger brother Jordan Ayew.
Half an hour later, it was the turn of his brother to score and give Ghana the lead.
Jordan latched onto a through ball from Nuhu Kassim, turned beautifully and lashed home a thunderbolt into the top corner.
Ghana were clearly ontop after the goal and went into the half time break the stronger side.
However, things took a turn for the worse early in the second half after John Boye, who had earlier been booked, received a second yellow card for perceived time wasting by the referee.
With a man’s advantage, Benin increasingly became more dangerous, finally equalizing through Pote once again.
A well-worked short corner found him in the box and his poke was too quick for Ghana goalie Richard Ofori to save.
The game petered out after the equalizer as the Black Stars opted for damage limitation, epitomized by a final change of defensive midfielder Afriyie Acquah for captain Andre Ayew.
The game ended in a stalemate as Benin held their own against a Black Stars team who could not cope with a one-man deficit against their West African neighbours.
Cameroon beat Guinea Bissau 2-0 in the other group game played earlier.
All in all, it was not an encouraging performance for the team who struggled to contain a mediocre Benin side.
It remains to be seen how Kwesi Appiah and his boys fare against the better teams at this tourney.