Black Stars of Ghana and The Super Eagles of Nigeria drew 0-0 in the first leg of their FIFA World Cup Play-off match on Friday at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana.
In Kumasi, there were few clear-cut chances during the 90 minutes, with Moses Simon having the finest chance, which he missed in the second half.
The Super Eagles thought they had a penalty in the closing seconds, but it was overruled after a VAR review, so it’s all to play for in the second leg on Tuesday night in Nigeria, where a spot in the end-of-year tournament in Qatar will be decided.
Ghana had the stronger start of the two teams, with a noisy home crowd cheering them on, but it wasn’t until the 30th minute that they had their first serious chance of the game. Abdul Fatawu unleashed a powerful strike from the edge of the box that Francis Uzoho saved.
Nigeria grew into the game and had a strong run soon before the halftime break. Victor Osimhen launched a feeble volley at goal that was well saved before Kelechi Iheanacho nearly got on the end of a cross at the back post.
Just after the halftime, the Super Eagles had a huge chance to grab the lead when Moses Simon found himself clean through on goal. Jojo Wollacott saved his shot from 10 yards out, keeping the Super Eagles out.
Ghana posed a threat, and Jordan Ayew’s fine chance was stopped with 20 minutes left. Felix Afena-Gyan should have sorted his feet out for a tap-in at the back post from the subsequent corner, but he couldn’t react in time.
After being called up for the first time since switching to the Super Eagles, Ademola Lookman was introduced for his Nigeria debut. With just over ten minutes to go, his new team thought they had a penalty after Baba Mohammed was penalized for a handball in the box.
Following a VAR review, it was determined that the Ghanaian had been fouled prior to handling, and the referee returned from viewing the monitor to overturn his earlier decision.
In the last minutes, there was no more suspense as the game ended goalless, which was certainly a fair result, and set up a second-leg clash for a spot in the 2022 World Cup.
Watch the disallowed PK below
The return leg is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29th at 6 p.m. at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
The victor of the two-leg match will earn one of Africa’s five tickets to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals, which will be held in Qatar from November 14th to December 18th this year.