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    2026WCQ: Pressure mounts on Chris Hughton as Black Stars lose in Comoros

    Chris Hughton has suffered his first competitive loss as Black Stars head coach as his side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Comoros in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers.

    Myziane Maolida’s first-half strike was enough for the home team to claim their second-straight win over the Black Stars.

    The result leaves Ghana in fourth place in Group I, three points behind early group leaders Comoros, who have won both of their opening games in the qualifiers.

    The teams that finish top of their groups will qualify automatically for the World Cup with the four-best runners-up from the nine groups going into a playoff tournament for a potential 10th spot for Africa.

    After a nervy, late win over Madagascar at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last Friday, there was some hope that the Black Stars could take advantage of Mali’s slip-up against the Central African Republic to take top spot in the group.

    Hughton made three changes from the side that beat Madagascar, with Kassim Nuhu Adams replacing the injured Daniel Amartey, Denis Odoi stepping in for Alidu Seidu and captain Andre Ayew replacing Kudus Mohammed.

    Ghana should have taken an early lead in Tuesday’s game when Inaki Williams put Antoine Semenyo through on goal but the Bournemouth striker hit the side-netting.

    Laboured build-up play from both sides was only worsened by a terrible pitch at the Stade de Moroni, with the home side attempting to counter this by launching the ball upfield and resorting to shots from range.

    This eventually paid off as Maolida finished his mazy run with a shot that beat Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori in the 43rd minute.

    Comoros held on to take their advantage into the break.

    Hughton responded in the second half, subbing off Andre Ayew for Kudus.

    Further changes in the half saw Majeed Ashimeru, Ernest Nuamah, Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Jonathan Sowah come on for Salis Samed, Semenyo, Jordan Ayew and Iddrisu Baba as the Stars chased an equaliser.

    However, Stefano Cusin’s side held on for another famous victory, emulating their 3-2 win in the 2021 AFCON.

    Ghana’s next match in the World Cup Qualifiers is against Mali in Bamako in June 2024 but the team’s attention turns to the AFCON in Ivory Coast where they will face Egypt, Cape Verde and Mozambique.

    Pressure continues to mount on Chris Hughton who has now failed to win five of his nine games in charge of the Black Stars.

    He will no doubt face more criticism over the performance of the team and his selections, with the decision to play Andre Ayew from the start, in particular, set to come under the microscope.

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