Match Report: Goalless draw as Ghana, Nigeria clash in Kumasi

Ghana and Nigeria played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their World Cup playoff in Kumasi, leaving the tie wide open when they meet again in Abuja on Tuesday to decide a place in Qatar.


Home side Ghana had more of the possession but only twice did they test goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who made a stop from a stinging shot by Issahaku Fatawu and then again late on from Mohammed Kudus.


Nigeria’s best chance came through Moses Simon ten minutes into the second half, but he fired straight at the goalkeeper from ten-yards out.

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The Super Eagles were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes left when Idrissu Baba Mohamed handled the ball after being tripped in his own penalty area, but after a VAR check the referee overturned his decision after deciding that the Ghana man had been fouled.


Ghana were playing their first game under new coach Otto Addo, as changes were made following a dismal Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

Leicester’s Ademola Lookman, who had previously played for England at under-21 level, made his Nigeria debut as a substitute for the last 15 minutes.

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90′ Jordan Ayew’s chip is gathered by Uzoho. Four minutes have been added

89′ It’s still goalless in the final stages of the match

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82′ Uzoho rushes out to clear a dangerous ball that put Jordan Ayew clear on goal

75′ Penalty awarded to Nigeria has been overturned after a VAR check

SUB: 73′ Double substitute for Nigeria. Ademola Lookman makes his senior debut, coming on for Moses Simon and Calvin Bassey replaces Zaidu Sanusi

70′ Uzoho saves from a brilliant effort a Ghanaian striker

67′ Kelechi Iheanacho’s free-kick is deflected for Nigeria’s second corner kick of the night, which is wasted

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66′ Frank Onyeka fouled just outside Ghana’s penalty box

65′ Another Jordan Ayew effort flies over Uzoho’s goal

Match Report: Goalless draw as Ghana, Nigeria clash in Kumasi
Match Report: Goalless draw as Ghana, Nigeria clash in Kumasi

61′ Ghana’s Alexander Djiku gets the first caution of the game for handling the ball

58′ Thomas Partey’s long range effort is deflected out for a corner kick

SUB: 57′ Samuel Chukwueze out for Emmanuel Dennis, Frank Onyeka replaces Joe Aribo

54′ Great chance for Moses Simon who is denied by Wollacott

52′ Uzoho comes out in time to collect a dangerous ball that sent Afena-Gyan in on goal

48′ Ghana starts the second half the way they did the first. Just three minutes into the half and they have two corner kicks already

46′ Second Half underway


44′ Into the final minutes of the first half and it’s still goalless. Two minutes have been added

42′ Moses Simon’s cross is collected by Joe Wollacott

40′ Ola Aina puts Joe Aribo in on goal who fires over the cross bar. Still goalless

36′ Osimhen’s attempt is deflected into a corner kick for Nigeria

32′ Great save by Uzoho from a thunderous shot just outside the box by Issahaku

30′ Osimhen goes down from a tackle and requires the attention of the medics

26′ Mensah’s cross is deflected out for a corner to Ghana. Their second of the evening

22′ Jordan Ayew’s beats Ekong but his cross is safely gathered by Francis Uzoho

21′ Great cross from Zaidu Sanusi fails to meet Osimhen. The follow-up is deflected out for throw in to Nigeria

17′ Ayew over hits the free kick. Goal kick to Nigeria

17′ Ghana wins a free kick from Ola Aina’s foul on Jordan Ayew

15′ Ghana is clear on goal but Leon Balogun recovers in time to clear the ball off the legs of the Ghanaian attacker

12′ Samuel Chukwueze goes down after a tackle just outside the Ghanaian box and requires the attention of the referee

7′ Ghana enjoying a larger part of possession in the early minutes

5′ Thomas Partey fouls Aribo. Free kick to Nigeria which is quickly taken and results in a goal kick to Ghana

3′ Afena-Gyan fails to keep the ball in. Goal kick to Nigeria

2′ Ghana gets first corner kick of the night

1′ kick-off


Starting XI


Uzoho (Gk)











Match Report: Goalless draw as Ghana, Nigeria clash in Kumasi
Match Report: Goalless draw as Ghana, Nigeria clash in Kumasi


Wollacott (GK)











Seven interesting facts about football rivalry between Nigeria, Ghana

These ‘British’ neighbours have a common history. From being colonised by the British to educational structure, Nigeria and Ghana have a lot in common.


The University of Ibadan and the University of Legon share the same colours of blue and yellow and the campuses are miniatures of each other.


Above this, there are seven interesting facts about Ghana and Nigeria:

  • Both countries have played themselves the most times on the African continent-49 times
  • This is the oldest rivalry in West Africa. The first encounter was on October 16, 1950.
  • Both countries have capped players from the other. Leotis Boateng and John Benson played for Nigeria while Tanko Abdul Razak and Aminu Kalala are Nigerians who wore the colours of the Black Stars.
  • Nigeria suffered her highest defeat to Ghana in 1955- a 7-0 loss.
  • Ghana have qualified for the World Cup thrice while Nigeria have qualified six times but the Black Stars have gone the furthest-reaching the quarterfinal at the 2010 edition in South Africa.
  • Both countries have won the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Nigeria have won it five times while Ghana have triumphed twice.
  • Ghana won the first-ever African medal in football in 1992 and Nigeria went two steps better by winning gold at the 1996 Games.
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