Francis Uzoho shines in Nigeria’s disappointing draw versus Ghana
Ghana and Nigeria’s World Cup chances are still up in the air after a goalless first leg of their World Cup Qualifying playoff series.
In Kumasi, there were few clear-cut chances during the 90 minutes, with Moses Simon having the best of the game, which he failed to convert in the second half.
The Super Eagles thought they had a penalty in the closing seconds, but it was overruled after a VAR check, this now means 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, however their first serious chance of the game didn’t come until the 30th minute. Francis Uzoho parried Abdul Fatawu’s powerful effort from the edge of the box.
Nigeria were more comfortable with the game and had a strong run soon before the break. Victor Osimhen launched a feeble volley at goal that was well saved after 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.
Otto Addo’s men 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.
Ademola Lookman and Calvin Bassey both made their debuts yesterday at exactly 74th minute.
With just over ten minutes to go, Nigeria 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.
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