Black stars of Ghana and the Nigeria Super eagles played a barren draw in the first leg of the play-off for the qualification for the 2022 World Cup. In Qatar
Ghana started the game brilliantly and barely a minute into the match won a corner which was wasted by the Black Stars before AS Roma teen sensation Felix Afena-Gyan half-volleyed a half-chance three minutes later.
A defensive error by the Super eagles nearly saw Ghana profiting but a quick tackle from Leon Balogun prevented Fatawu Issahaku from taking a shot.
A few minutes later, Afena-Gyan tried to outwit Trost-Ekong before forcing a strike which was kept out and just on the hour mark, Fatawu Issahaku nearly grabbed the opener after firing from outside the box only to be parried away by Francis Uzoho.
Nigeria had their moments in the first half with Victor Osimhen and Joe Aribo coming close in the final ten minutes of the half; however, it is Ghana that dominated the game.
The Black Stars controlled the first half but had nothing to show for it as it remained barren.
The second period ensued with determination to break the deadlock but it was Nigeria that had the best of opportunity early in the half when Moses Simon pulled a great save from Jojo Wollacot.
With twenty minutes left Mohammed Kudus weaved his way into the box before firing but Uzoho was there to save Nigeria, forcing the ball off for a corner kick.
Nigeria was awarded a penalty after Iddrisu Baba had his hand to the ball but a VAR check reversed the decision.
Coach Otto Addo replaced Fatawu Issahaku with Osman Bukari, who added some firepower in attacker with his marauding runs.
However, the end product was not there for the Black Stars as the game ended in a goalless stalemate.
Nigerian Coach Eguavoen in the post-match interview:
“We had two clear chances to just finish Ghana, but I think getting a draw is good even though we wanted to win here”.
Nigeria will face Ghana will in Abuja next Tuesday in a reverse fixture. The encounter between the rivals in the only goalless outing of the five matches played in the framework of the African qualifiers for the global showpiece. Below are scores from the other games.
Dr Congo 1 Morocco 1
Cameroon 0 Algeria 1
Mali 0 Tunisia 1
Egypt 1 Senegal 0