Ghana rued costly missed chances as they threw away the lead to be held 1-1 by Libya in their Group C African Nations Championship encounter at the Free State Stadium tonight. Libya levelled matters in the 72nd minute through a Faisal Ali penalty after Nuru Sulley tripped Mohamed Ghanudi inside the box. The Black Stars had gone to the half-time break a goal ahead, courtesy of a Yayaha Mohammed header after six minutes. However, the burly Yahaya should have netted at least a hat-trick in the solid first half. The Asante Kotoko frontman had two tame shots at close range that were easily held by Libyan keeper Mohamed Abdallah and then a long-range effort that sailed narrowly wide of goal. Instead, Libya marginally missed out on snatching a late winner as Faisal Ali’s free-kick in injury time was tipped over the bar by Stephen Adams in the Ghanaian goal. The north Africans came out a better unit in the second half after a tentative first 45 minutes with close shaves from Ghanudi and Elmutasem Abushnaf. Abushnaf saw his “goal” controversially ruled out by Moroccan referee Redouane Jiyed seven minutes after the interval when he seemed to have been harshly judged for a push on Sulley. Libya’s fortunes seemed to turn when Jiyed had to be replaced moments later with an injury as the fourth official, South African Victor Gomes, took over and later awarded the equalising penalty. Now both sides carry four points in the group with the Libyans ahead because of their goal difference. Either side would have virtually had one foot in the knockout stages with a victory. The two group winners will now be decided in the final matches to be played simultaneously on Tuesday. The requirements for reaching the next round will depend on the result of tonight’s second match between Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo.