MON 18 SEPTEMBER 2017, 18:00 , CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM

0 Ghana
VS
2 Nigeria

Ghana and Nigeria renew rivalry in crunch match for Super Eagles

Ghana and Nigeria renew rivalry in crunch match for Super Eagles
Ashadi Destiny Abanum of Nigeria challenged by Issouf Traore of Mali during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Mali and Nigeria at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 14 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 18:33

Ghana and Nigeria will renew their rivalry when they meet in their final 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations Group A match, set for Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday at 18h00 local time.

Tournament hosts Ghana come into the game in the enviable position of having already secured qualification: they followed up their opening group stage win over Guinea last week with a 1-0 triumph over Mali on Saturday.

The win over the Eagles has assured the Black Stars of a place in the semifinals, regardless of their result against Nigeria. Coach Maxwell Konadu will likely rest key players but don’t expect the hosts to take it easy: the chance to eliminate a major rival like Nigeria is not one they will ignore.

The Super Eagles played to a second straight goalless stalemate when they were held by Guinea on Saturday. The result leaves them second on the standings, but in need of a positive result against the hosts to ensure they advance into the final four.

Coach Salisu Yusuf has admitted that he is not too concerned over whether his team advances, insisting that preparation for next year’s African Nations Championship is more important.

“It's football we are playing and we have our own target with the WAFU,” said the Nigeria coach.

“Like I told you earlier, we want to use the WAFU to prepare the CHAN team. It's football and it didn't finish well against Guinea. We have a game to play so anything can happen.”

Nigeria can advance if they draw with Ghana, but only if the other group match between Guinea and Mali (which will be played concurrently at Nduom Stadium) also ends in a stalemate.

Ghana and Nigeria have met in 49 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Black Stars have claimed 19 wins - compared to 11 for the Super Eagles - and outscored their opponents 72 goals to 44 in the process.

Ghana v Nigeria, head-to-head

Matches played 49
Ghana wins 19
Nigeria wins 11
Draws 19
Ghana goals 72
Nigeria goals 44

Super Eagles soar into WAFU semifinals

Super Eagles soar into WAFU semifinals
John Ubong Friday of Nigeria challenged by Ampiah Emmanuel of Ghana during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Ghana and Nigeria at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 18 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Brian Lee

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 21:55

Second half goals from Anthony Okpotu and Peter Moses handed Nigeria a 2-0 win over Ghana in their final Group A game of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, September 18 and consequently a place in the semifinals of the competition.

The Super Eagles started fast and created their first chance on goal in the sixth minute when John Friday intercepted a bad back pass and was left with just the keeper to beat, but he fluffed his shot wide.

A minute later Ghana suffered a big set-back when Isaac Twum left the field injured and was replaced by Ahmed Adams.

Nigeria continued to boss the game and almost scored in the 13th minute when Anthony Okpotu broke behind Black Stars defence and even beat the keeper with his shot, but defender Vincent Atingah made it back to clear the ball off the goalline.

Three minutes later Peter Moses was on the attack for the Super Eagles when he drove into the box from the right flank, beating two defenders before seeing his 14-yard shot superbly saved by the keeper.

On the half hour Ghana finally created their first scoring opportunity when Emmanuel Lomotey met a corner with a strong header, but his effort skimmed the wrong side of the crossbar.

Ten minutes later Felix Addo muscled his way into space inside the Nigerian box, but saw his ten-yard strike well-saved by the Ghanaian shot-stopper.

The half ended 0-0.

Eight minutes into the second half Nigeria took the lead when Anthony Okpotu showed great strength to hold his marker off to get on the end of a through ball and clinically fired home from six-yards out, 1-0.

Three minutes later the Super Eagles doubled their lead courtesy of a thunderous 20-yard strike from Peter Moses which found the corner of the net, 2-0.

Ghana tried to find their way back into the match, but struggled to penetrate the Nigerian defence.

The Black Stars did almost score in the 72nd minute when Emmanuel Lomotey unleashed a powerful long-range free-kick, but his effort was brilliantly saved by the keeper.

That was as close as Ghana came to finding a goal as Nigeria won the game 2-0 and with it progressed into the semifinals of the competition along with the Black Stars.

With the other Group A game between Mali and Guinea ending 1-1 at the Nduom Sports Stadium it leaves Ghana top of the standings with six points, followed by Nigeria with five points.

Guinea and Mali were left with two points apiece in third and fourth place respectively.

Ghana (0) 0
Nigeria (0) 2 (Okpotu 53’, P Moses 56’)

Teams

Ghana coach: Maxwell Konadu

Ghana: 1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S Safro, 5. Atingah, 4. Ampiah (17. Razak 46’), 9. F Addo, 18. Lomotey, 7. Twum (14. Adams 7’), 10. Cobbina, 8. Waja (11. Kelvin 61’), 15. K Safro.

Nigeria coach: Salisu Yusuf

Nigeria: 1. Ezenwa, 2. Okoro, 6. Eze, 12. Aniyikaye, 3. Akas, 4. Aremu, 8. Ifeanyi, 7. Friday (15. Mathias 82’), 11. P Moses, 10. Ali, 9. Okpotu (14. Okechukwu 77’).

Starting Lineup

Ghana : Joseph Addo, Amos Frimpong, Annan Felix, Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo, Emmanuel Ampiah, Vincent Adaeh Antigah, Gideon Waja, Isaac Twumasi, Cobbinah Winful Essuah, Samuel Sarfo, Addoquye Emmenuel Lomotey

Nigeria : Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Olalekan Afeez Aremu, Akas Uche Chima, Moses Osadebamwen Okoro, Okpotu Anthony, Rabiu Ali, Stephen Eze, Aniyikaye Adeleye Olamilekan, Friday Ubong John, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Peter Eneji Moses

Live Commentary

1' The match is underway!
7' Ghana: Ahmed Adams replaces Isaac Twumasi
44' Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Nigeria) is cautioned.
45 + 2' The referee brings the first half to an end.
46' The second half is underway
46' Ghana: Razak Patrick replaces Emmanuel Ampiah
53' Okpotu Anthony (Nigeria) scores!
56' Peter Eneji Moses (Nigeria) scores!
61' Ghana: Kelvin Andoh replaces Gideon Waja
77' Nigeria: Gabriel Okechukwu replaces Okpotu Anthony
82' Nigeria: Samuel Mathias replaces Friday Ubong John
90 + 3' The referee blows the whistle for Full Time.

Match Statistics

MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM
GHANA GOALS NIGERIA GOALS
18. Okpotu Anthony (53')
16. Peter Eneji Moses (56')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1
GHANA STARTING LINEUP NIGERIA STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
0
Defender
5
Defender
16
Defender
46'
4
Midfielder
53'
77'
18
Defender
61'
8
15
Midfielder
82'
17
Midfielder
44'
10
10
Midfielder
7'
7
Midfielder
56'
16
Midfielder
12
Midfielder
11
Forward/Striker
18
Midfielder
3
SUBSTITUTIONS
Razak Patrick
Defender
46'
17
Gabriel Okechukwu
Midfielder
77'
14
Kelvin Andoh
Forward/Striker
61'
11
Samuel Mathias
Defender
82'
12
Ahmed Adams
Defender
7'
14
CARDS
Ifeanyi Ifeanyi
Midfielder
44'
10
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury