QATAR 2022 Eternal Rivals Nigeria, Ghana in Final World Cup Playoffs

Femi Solaja

Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn against their eternal rivals, the Black Stars of Ghana in the 2022 World Cup playoffs scheduled for March.

At the draw which held yesterday evening in Yaounde, Cameroon, 71-year old rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana on the football field was rekindled for the fifth time in the history of the competition playoffs.

Four –time African champions Ghana will host the first leg with the reverse encounter in Nigeria, both to hold between 24th and 29th March.

The draw was conducted by Samson Adamu, CAF’s Director of Competitions and African football legends El Hadj Diouf and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Super Eagles emerged from a group comprising themselves, Liberia, Cape Verde and Central African Republic to be eligible for the play-offs, while the Black Stars prevailed over South Africa 1-0 on the final day in an explosive and controversial duel in Cape Coast. Ethiopia and Zimbabwe were the other teams in the pool.

Nigeria have played against Ghana more than any other country in the world in football, with a total of 57 senior matches between both countries in 71 years. Ghana have won 19 of those clashes with Nigeria winning 16, and 19 drawn.

Before now, Nigeria had met Ghana for the first time a World Cup qualifier was on 28th of August, 1960 which Ghana won 4-1 and the reverse fixture in Lagos ended 2-2.

When the two sides met again in the qualifying tournament was in 1973 but Ghana was on the winning side with an inconclusive 3-2 win in Lagos which was later awarded to the visitors 2-0 on September 10th 1973 while the return leg ended goalless.

While the last meeting between the two sides ended in Nigeria’s favour in the qualification towards Korea/Japan 2002 tournament. The first leg in Accra ended goalless on 11th 2001 but Late Shaibu Amodu tutored side won the reverse fixture in Port Harcourt 3-0 to qualify for the Mundial in Asia.

The winners over the two legs will qualify to represent the continent later in the year in Qatar.

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