The Black Stars of Ghana have booked a ticket to this year’s Qatar world cup after drawing 1-1 with the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the Mooshood Abiola stadium in Abuja.
The reverse fixture ended in a scoreless draw with Ghana head coach Otto Addo fuming his side’s profligacy on the night.
The result in Kumasi meant the tie would be decided in Nigeria. The Black Stars went into the game with the underdogs’ status but defied all the odds to qualify for the global showpiece event.
Otto Addo’s lads got the all-important goal in the eleventh minute of the contest through Thomas Partey. The Arsenal midfielder made good use of Gideon Mensah’s pass from the left hand side of the Ghanaians’ attack to produce a ferocious short which went through the hands of Francis Uzoho, the Nigeria goalie.
The Super Eagles levelled the scoring eleven minutes later from the penalty spot. The central referee was initially hesitant in awarding the penalty but after consultation with VAR, Dennis Odoi was adjudged to have brought down Ademola Lookman. William Troost Ekong took responsibility by sending Jojo Wollacott the wrong way to hand the Super Eagles a much-deserved equalizer.
After conceding the equalizer, the Black Stars’ performance began petering out thereby giving the Nigerians plenty of space to attack. Victor Osimhen taught he had given the hosts the lead in the closing stages of the first half but his joy was caught short after he was adjudged offside by VAR; meaning the first half would end in 1-1.
The Nigerians return from the break full of hunger for the winner but luck was their enemy on the night. Victor Osimhen came close to handing Augustine Egoaven’s men the winning goal on several occasions, but his desperation (to score) was not enough.
The visitors nearly snatched a winner in stoppage time when substitute Osman Bukari was played through by Thomas Partey but the 23-year old’s effort missed the target by inches. The game ended 1-1 after ninety minutes of action.
The outcome means Black Stars have qualified for the 2022 world cup to be staged in Qatar. The four-time African champions qualified by virtue of the away goal tiebreaker rule.
Meanwhile, the Teranga Lions of Senegal have joined the Ghanaians after beating Egypt 4-2 on penalties.
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