It ain’t over until it’s over! The 2021 Rugby Africa Cup game between Ghana and Algeria played on Wednesday is a testament to that fact.
The Eagles of Ghana displayed an unmatched fighting spirit to upset the Lion Cubs of Algeria who were in control for most parts of the game.
With time not on their side, the Eagles advanced at devastating speed from their own try area for winger Lesley Ansah to finish under the posts and Koffi Appiah kicking through for a 22-20 win.
However, it was Algeria that started the encounter at Kyadondo Rugby Ground in Kampala on the front foot, pinning and keeping Ghana in their half.
It took a quarter an hour for Algeria’s pressure to pay off with Meneghini Maxim exploiting the gap on the outside to dot down. Loree Mathieu extended the lead with a penalty.
Ghana went into attack forcing Algeria into conceding penalties. Josiah Twum-Boafo missed one but man of the match Kofi Appiah converted one in front of the posts.
Cardoni Remi grounded from a lineout plus maul with five minutes to the break and Caminati Benjamin scored at the stroke of halftime with Loree Mathieu adding extras for a 20-03 lead at the break.
After the break, Algeria’s discipline was put to the test as Ghana relentlessly attacked. Djebbari Yakine was sent to the bin and Ghana would later earn a penalty try.
With about six minutes to play, Lesley Ansah chased a grubber kick forward and touched it down to create a tense finish to the game.
Algeria had a chance to put the game out of Ghana’s reach with three minutes to play but Bensalla’s penalty was a couple of yards wide.
The defining moment of the game arrived in the final minute of the game. From his own try area, Koffi Appiah found Josiah Twum-Boafo who sprinted around his man before coming inside to find Francis Donkor who took off a few meters and offloaded to Lesley Ansah to slice through the middle and ground under the posts. Appiah converted for the win that keeps Ghana alive in the tournament.
Algeria have to regroup in the next few days before they take on Uganda on Sunday.