AWCON hosts Ghana eliminated by Cameroon
Hosts Ghana will play no further part in the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations after being held 1-1 by Cameroon in their final Group A game at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The Black Queens were pipped in the final standings by Mali, who twice came back from behind to beat Algeria 3-2 to progress.
Ghana needed to better Mali's result to progress and keep their hopes of a first Africa Women Cup of Nations title alive.
They started like a side confident of their chances of progress.
Captain Elizabeth Addo, Portia Boakye and Grace Asantewaa were full of running and creativity in the opening minutes as Ghana looked to dominate the game early. Yet for all that, the Queens' chances were limited to long-range efforts.
Addo and Asantewaa missed narrowly from distance, before Addo smashed a fine effort against the post from an acute angle.
On 31 minutes, the Black Queens got their deserved lead through Boakye, whose free kick deceived the entire Cameroon defence and goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom, who stepped too far forward from her goal line.
Ghana, completely dominant in possession, seemed to be coasting until a decision by goalkeeper Nana Ama Asantewaa, in as replacement for Patricia Mantey, gifted them a way back in.
The stopper raced off her line to bring down Gabrielle Onguene, who was heading away from goal to hand Cameroon a penalty.
Captain Christine Manie stepped up to convert it and draw them level after 41 minutes.
The Black Queens needed a win to reach the semi-finals and stay on course for a place at the Women's World Cup, but failed to recover from the setback.
Apart from a few shouts for penalties and a late effort by Linda Eshun, which Ndom saved well, they rarely looked troubled in the second half as they held on for the point that confirmed them as winners of Group A.
That result, plus Mali's comeback win against Algeria in Cape Coast, left the Black Queens in third in the group.
While Mali missed an early penalty, and fell behind twice, Fatoumata Diarra's penalty took them past Algeria with a 3-2 victory.