The FIFA World Cup qualification match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Black Stars of Ghana ended in a goalless draw.
The match which took place at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana, saw the hosts dominate in most parts of the game contrary to the expectations of most football enthusiasts ahead of the game.
In 90 minutes of the caging encounter, Ghana recorded 57 percent of the ball possession while Nigeria made do of 43 percent. Ghana made 381 passes against 294 passes by Nigerian players.
Ghana’s dominance up front was also reflected in the number of goalscoring opportunities the hosts created in the game. In 90 minutes of football, Ghanaian players made 10 shots, 2 of which were on target.
Throughout the game, the midfield was under the control of Arsenal’s midfielder, Thomas Partey. The 28-year-old Ghanian midfielder made it difficult for Nigeria’s midfield to connect with the attack.
On the other hand, the Super Eagles of Nigeria also made some promising moves during the game which resulted in seven shots, two of which were on target.
The country’s hitman, Victor Osimhen could not do much since he could not get sufficient service to trouble Ghana’s defense.
Despite the number of shots from both ends, none was able to go beyond the goalkeepers. However, the Super Eagles of Nigeria goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho was forced to make some brilliant saves to keep a clean sheet.
Nigeria’s best chance in the game fell to Joe Aribo but he decided to blast the ball over the bar. Towards the 76th minute mark, the match central referee Jiyed Redouane awarded a spot-kick in favor of Nigeria due to a foul in Ghana’s eighteen-yard box.
But the Moroccan referee reversed his decision after he visited the sideline monitor to review the decision which could have changed the tempo of the game and the atmosphere in the stadium.
In the 77th minute of the game, Oghenekaro Etebo who replaced Bonke Innocent in the 62nd minute received a yellow card for trying to convince the referee that it was a foul contrary to the decision of the VAR.
After the added four minutes, the referee ended the game which means that the battle must be decided in the second leg of the tie.
Nigeria vs Ghana second leg:
The Nigerian vs Ghana second leg tie will take place at the M.K.O Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria with a 60,491 seating capacity.
The game which is scheduled to kick off at 18:00 is expected to produce a winner who will be part of the five countries that will represent Africa in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The match is not only expected to produce a team that will represent Africa in Qatar, it will give the winning side a reason to brag about how superior the country is over the other.