Mousa Sow delivered the match winner for Senegal on the stroke of fulltime as they came from behind to beat Ghana 2-1 at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations opener on Monday.
The Teranga Lions left it late after squandering several goal opportunities but they did it in the end to record the famous win against the Black Stars.
Senegal deserved the win at the Stade de Mongomo stadium after enjoying the chunk of possession and using their physical strength to their advantage.
Stand-in captain Andre Ayew opened the scoring for the Black Stars through a spot kick in the 13th minute.
Jordan Ayew broke loose and delivered an incisive pass to Christian Atsu who was brought down by the Senegalese goalkeeper which resulted in the penalty and the Marseille talisman picked his spot intelligently.
Christian Atsu should have made it 2-0 after his acute shot missed the post by inches in the 21st minutes.
Senegal responded and hit the cross bar in the 26th minute but it was obvious the Ghanaians struggled with the pace and physicality of the Senegalese.
The Ghanaians kept to their new found 3-5-2 formation which opened up the Black Stars in the second half as Senegal showed tenacity and resilience to beat their opponent for the first time in the Nations Cup history.
Mame Diouf pulled parity in the 58th minutes after he headed home a grounder after the Ghanaian defense yielded to the pressure.
The equalizer boosted their confidence as they piled for the match winner and missed several golden opportunities.
When the game was destined for a stalemate, Mousa Sow popped up with a low grounder that delivered the match winner for the Teranga Lions amid tears in the eyes of the Senegalese players.
Ghana, marking their 19th appearance at the Cup of Nations, lost influential striker Asamoah Gyan to a ‘bout of malaria’ and Kwadwo Asamoah to injury before the tournament started.
The withdrawals contributed to a difficult start for the Ghanaians as they struggled with creativity at the heart of the park.
With group C touted as the ‘group of death’ the Black Stars have their work cut out for them ahead of their next meeting against high-flying Algeria with Senegal clashing with South Africa.
Ghana XI: R Brimah, H Afful, B Rahman, A Mohammed, Jona Mensah, D Amartey, M Rabiu, EA Badu, C Atsu, A Ayew, J Ayew
Senegal XI: Coundoul; S Mbodji, P Djilobodji, P Diop, L Sane, C Kouyate, MB Diouf, D Ndoye, S Badji, I Gueye, P Souare.