Prime News Ghana

Black Stars, Nigeria fire blank in World Cup qualifier

By Vincent Ashitey
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The Black Stars of Ghana were held by rivals Nigeria in the first leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday.

The match which was played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium failed to produce goals as the match ended 0-0.

The two teams will face off again in four days in Abuja, with the winning team on aggregate going through to the World Cup in Qatar.

READ ALSO: Egypt beat AFCON champions Senegal in Cairo

New Ghana boss, Otto Addo handed international debuts to both forward, Felix Afena-Gyan and right-back Denis Odoi,

The Black Stars started the first half with great intensity, pouring forward in numbers when they had the ball and pressing effectively when they didn’t.

Afena-Gyan fired a shot wide from the angle before almost getting on the end of a long ball which was shepherded back to Nigeria keeper Francis Uzoho.

A Mohammed Kudus ball over the top for Abdul Fatawu Issahaku down the left looked promising but the winger’s touch was heavy and he was tackled by defender, Leon Balogun.

Afena-Gyan then did brilliantly to hold off the two Nigerian centre-backs before laying the ball off to Issahaku whose effort from outside the box was pushed out for a corner.

Nigeria started to get on the ball more and were almost in when Sanusi’s cross just missed Victor Oshimen in the box.

They got their first shot on target in the 40th minute when Oshimen’s weak effort was comfortably held by Joe Wollacott.

Aribo then broke into the Ghana box and found some space but fired his shot wide as the Nigerians ended the first half strongly.

The second half started almost the same way in the second half but failed to breach the resolute defence of the Super Eagles.

The result means that its all to play for in the second leg on Tuesday at the Mashood Abiola Stadium in Abuja where Nigeria will have the home advantage.

The winner of the decisive fixture will earn a spot at the global showpiece in Qatar later this year.