The Black Stars failed to take advantage of the home support as they were held to a sizzling scoreless draw by fierce rivals Nigeria.
Ghana began the game brightly, forcing the visitors to sit back. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku nearly fired Ghana into the lead in the opening ten minutes of the game but the timely intervention of William Troost Ekong denied him from doing so.
With the Kumasi fans cheering them up, the stars had the best chance of the game, but Issahaku’s ferocious strike from the edge of the box was excellently palmed away by Francis Uzoho, the Nigeria goalkeeper. Ghana had a chance from the resultant corner kick but debutant Felix Afena Gyan’s header went out wide.
The four-time African champions dominated in large parts of the first half but could not put Nigeria to the sword, owing to astute defending from the Nigerians.
Otto Addo’s men looked promising after the recess, creating a few opportunities to win the game but were undone by their wastefulness and inexperienced attack.
The Super Eagles engineered the best chance of the second half but could not find a breakthrough as Jojo Wollacott produced a stunning save to deny Victor Osimhen from close range.
Augustine Egoaven’s side taught they had gotten an opportunity to break the hearts of Ghanaians from the penalty spot, however, the penalty was overturned after VAR’s intervention, giving Ghana a sigh of relief.
Ghana continued their dominance after that were not able to break down the Nigerians, meaning the much talked about jollof derby would end in a goalless stalemate.
It is now all to play for as Ghana serve as visitors to Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, March 29,2022 for the second leg of the tie.
Ghana aims at making it to the world cup for the fourth time in their history, having missed the 2018 edition in Russia. Nigeria on the other hand hopes to qualify for their seventh time.
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