Ghana ended their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign without a home win as they played out a scrappy 1-1 draw with already qualified Egypt in their final Group E match in Cape Coast on Sunday.
Ghana, who had already failed to secure qualification to the global showpiece for the fourth successive time, were without some key players.
With Andre and his brother Jordan Ayew not invited and captain Asamoah Gyan and Christian Atsu injured, coach Kwesi Appiah used the outing to give others an opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the team ahead of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
And it was one of the new faces, Edwin Gyasi, who restored parity for the Black Stars after Mahmoud Shikabala had given Egypt the lead on 61 minutes.
The Black Stars were firmly in control right from the start as Wakaso fired the first shot on target. The Span-based midfielder unleashed a powerful strike from outside the box which Egypt goalkeeper Ekramy struggled to save.
In the 20th minute, Ghana protested for a penalty when Raphael Dwamena went down inside the box.
Following a blunder by Elneny in midfield, striker Dwamena was allowed to go through on goal but keeper Ekramy rushed out of goal to deny the Ghana forward. There was contact but the referee thought Dwamena had already lost the ball.
Egypt had a chance in the first half but could not make the most of it. However, 15 minutes into the second half, the Pharaohs opened the scoring.
Shikabala received a squared ball from Trezeguet from the left before unleashing a stunning strike past the Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
But the Black stars restarted the game quickly and positively sending numbers forward to force the Egyptian backline open. The Egyptians maintained their lines for only three minutes before Edwin Gyasi’s long-range shot found the net after taking a wicked deflection.
Kwesi Appiah’s charges were denied the winner in added time by goalkeeper Ekramy. The Al Ahly shot-stopper pulled a world-class save to deny in-form striker Richmond Boakye-Yiadom’s close-range effort.
The result means the Black Stars failed to register a home win throughout the qualification campaign and finished 3rd with 7 points behind eventual group winners, Egypt, and Uganda.
Ghana’s XI vs Egypt: Richard Ofori – Harrison Afful(c), Lumor Agbenyenu, Nuhu Kassim Adams, Daniel Amartey – Mubarak Wakaso, Edwin Gyasi, Ebenezer Ofori, Godfred Donsah (Majeed Waris), Nana Ampomah (Patrick Twumasi) – Raphael Dwamena (Boakye-Yiadom).
Earlier in Brazzaville, Uganda secured second place in the group with a 1-1 draw against Congo. Marvin Baudry put the hosts ahead after 10 minutes, but the Cranes hit back just one minute later through Milton Karisa to earn a point.
That draw left them four points behind Egypt in the final Group E standings.