Ghana Becomes The First African Team To Secure Place In Qatar 2022
Ghana have become the first African team to book a place at the 2022 World Cup after being held to a 1-1 draw by Nigeria at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Tuesday.
The result,secured by an away goal netted by Thomas Partey, ensured the Black Stars made to the global football showcase for the first time in eight years.
It was an electrifying start to the game, with Ghana going ahead on the 10th minute, thanks to the Arsenal midfielder’s screamer that beat Super Eagles keeper Francis Uzoho.
Ghana didn’t let Nigeria response get to them, but remained calm and at that forced the Super Eagles to concede chances from balls out wide and through the middle of the park.
Nigeria continued to see opportunities decent ones that saw Joseph Wollacot at full stretch off a first-time strike outside the box by Victor Osimhen.
Nigeria finally found an equalizer on the 22nd minute from the spot when captain William Troost-Ekong converted from spot kick after Lookman was brought down inside the area.
In the 35th minute Osimhen thought he had placed Nigeria when Troost-Eking set him up, but his goal was ruled for an offside after a VAR review.
The Black Stars was under pressure again as Nigeria took control of proceedings. Joe Aribo unleashed a powerful shot on target that Wollacot could only just push over.
Ademola Lookman was eager to join in the festivities and sent a speculative shot from distance that took a big deflection and seemed to go in, but came off the bar instead and fell kindly for Wollacot.
At the other end on the stroke of half-time, Afena-Gyan showed immense skill to take the ball past his marker with a first-touch but his second touch then let him down as he looked set to shoot.
The game changed tempo after the break, with many breaks in play disrupting the flow and reducing the players’ ability to create opportunities.
Ahmed Musa came close to sparking the tie back into life in the 68th minute when he fired a volley at goal, but an important touch from Wollacot took the ball over the target.
Ghana had a half-chance in the 81st minute, after a corner was poorly cleared, the ball was drilled back into the box but Osman Bukari couldn’t direct the ball towards the goal.
How they lined-up:
Nigeria: Uzoho, Aina, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Bassey (Umar 88’), Etebo (Musa 78’), Onyeka (Shehu 46’), Aribo, Lookman (Simon 61’), Dennis (Ighalo 78’), Osimhen
Ghana: Wollacott, Odoi, Amartey, Djiku, G. Mensah, Partey, Iddrisu (Yiadom 46’), Kudus (Bukari 73’), Issahaku (Kyereh 46’), Afena-Gyan (Wriedt 90’), J. Ayew (Owusu 46’)