The much anticipated 2022 Qatar World cup qualifier match between Nigeria and Ghana at the Baba Yara sports stadium ended in a goalless draw on Friday night.
The 40,000 capacity stadium was packed as the game started in a fierce manner as expected as the host were on the front foot trying to break the Super Eagles defense line with long balls. It took Nigeria a while before they grew into the game. Ola Aina was one of the best player on the pitch with the right back holding back the black stars threat down the left wing.
The Super Eagles front line did little or nothing to gather momentum, they struggled to link play and their high pressing gave the Ghana the chance to break forward. It was a first for the two teams because Nigeria enjoyed the latter part of the first half with the two goalies doing nothing in the first half of the game.
The second half continued the way the first half ended, Nigeria tried to push the black stars back into their own half but didn’t look threatening enough. Ghana continued to be aggressive in their game play.
The real question of the game came in the 77th when the referee awarded a penalty to Nigeria after Ghana’s Fatawu was deemed to have handed the ball while trying to stop Nigeria substitute Oghenekaro Etebo, but after the referee consulted VAR, the decision was overturn and Ghana was given a free kick. This decision left Nigeria players and the staffs on the bench upset,
In the 79th minute, Ademola Lookman was brought on for his debut for Nigeria and the youngster had little or nothing to do with the last ten minutes of the game dominated by the host.
The two sides were too cautious and they both failed to break the deadlock leaving the game in a stalemate in Kumasi with really no sense of goal coming from the two side. It’s all to play for now in the second leg of the encounter that’s set to take place on tuesday 29th in Abuja. A win will see either of the two teams go through to represent Africa at the big stage in Qatar.
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