20 times Ghana’s national teams lost games via penalty shootout

Ghana as a powerhouse in football are expected to master the art of penalty taking, after having failed on several occasions, yet the West African powerhouse seem clueless.

Penalty woes

Penalty taking is a skill that not every footballer possesses. Scoring a goal from 12-yards with just the goalkeeper to beat has been a perennial headache for the various national teams.

The worst victim of Ghana’s penalty woes has been the Black Stars. They have lost their past two AFCON finals which entered into penalty shootouts and have also lost the past four shootouts in a major tournament.

Ghana’s back to back penalty defeats against Ivory Coast and South Africa in the semi-finals and the third-place playoff of the 2019 Africa U-23 Nations Cup has resurrected the conversation on Ghana’s penalty shootout jinx which has been threatening the nation’s football.

Among some of the notable penalty, heartbreaks are

Ghana lost in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1992. They drew goalless against the Ivory Coast before the Elephants won 11-10 in what became the longest penalty shootout in the history of the continent’s showpiece. Tony Baffoe who had scored his first kick wasted the second one to hand the trophy to the Ivorians.

In 2015 Ghana was involved in another penalty shootout against Ivory Coast and this time too the Back Stars succumbed to the Elephants after the 120 minutes of action had ended in a goalless.

Despite Ghana scoring their first two kicks, while Ivory Coast had wasted its first two, the four times champion in the end lost the shootout 9-8 and threw away an opportunity to avenge the 1992 defeat in the hands of the Elephants.

In Between, Ghana were held to a one all draw against ten-man Burkina Faso in 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars lost the penalty shootout after the extra 30 minutes 3-2 against the Stallions in the semi-finals of the competition.

The most heart-breaking of all penalty shootouts the Black Stars have been involved took place in South Africa in 2010.

The Black Stars who had dominated play and missed a late minute in injury time spot-kick after Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez’s hand had denied Ghana a winner lost the penalty shootout which followed 4-2.

Ghana failed to emerge as the first African country to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup.

List of the penalty shootouts Ghana’s national teams disappointed:


1976 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

29/06/1975 Ghana 2-0 Morocco

13/07/1975 Morocco 2-0 Ghana (6-5pen)

1982: (AFCON in Libya)


Ghana 1-1 Libya (7-6pen)

1992: (AFCON in Senegal)


Ghana 0-0 Ivory Coast (11-10 pen)

2010: (World Cup Quarter-Final in South Africa)

Quarter finals

Ghana 1-1 Uruguay (4-2pen)

2013: (AFCON final in South Africa)


Burkina Faso 1-1 Ghana (3-1pen)

2014: (African Nations Championship in Libya)


Libya 0-0 Ghana (4-3pen)

2015: (AFCON Final in Equatorial Guinea)


Ivory Coast 0-0 Ghana (9-8 pen)

2019: (AFCON Final in Egypt)

Round of 16

Ghana 1-1 Tunisia (5-4 on pen)

2019: (WAFU Final in Senegal)

Senegal 1-1 Ghana (3-1penalties)

Africa U-17 Championship


Second round

Ghana 2-0 Senegal

Senegal 2-0 Ghana (4-5 pen)

FIFA U-17 World Cup



Ghana 2 – 2 (a.e.t.) Brazil (2 – 4pen)

Africa U-20 Championship



Ghana 3-0 Algeria

Algeria 3-0 Ghana (4–5pen)


Second round

Ghana 0–0 Mali

Mali 0–0 Ghana (3–4pen)



Ghana 1 – 1 South Africa (3 – 4 penalties)


Second Round

Burkina Faso 1–0 Ghana

Ghana 1-0 Burkina Faso (4–3pen)



Ghana 1–1 (a.e.t.) Egypt (4–5pen)

FIFA U-20 World Cup


Quarter Finals

Spain 1–1 (a.e.t.) Ghana (8–7pen)

Africa U-23 Nations Cup


Ghana 1–0 Congo

Congo 1–0 Ghana (5–4pen)



Ghana 2-2 Ivory Coast (1-3penalties)


Third-place playoff

South Africa 2-2 Ghana (7-6 penalties)


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