The Super Eagles of Nigeria were forced to a goalless draw at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi where Ghana hosted Nigeria in their first leg of the World Cup qualifier. The hosts started strong, looking to test the Nigerian backline with long balls over the top. The Super Eagles took a while to get into the game.
Ghana Held Super Eagles at Kumasi
While their defenders withstood the Ghanaian attackers, they struggle to hold the ball up the pitch, and their attempts at pressing made it easier for Ghana to get the ball forward. Nigerian goalkeeper Ozoho made the only save in the game in the first 37 minutes of the game.
The game changed in the second half as they entered the game properly in the second half. It was a half of two halves, with Nigeria enjoying the better of the later stages. Both goalkeepers had little to do in the game as they made little saves. In truth though, neither goalkeeper was overworked, and that continued to be the case in the second half. Ghana started aggressively once again but, once they withstood the initial attempts, Nigeria continued to grow into proceedings.
Nigeria thought they had a chance to score for the penalty spot when a Ghanaian defender handled the ball in the penalty box. The referee was called upon by the video assistant referee VAR aft letting the check it was then discovered that Super Eagles striker Kelechi Iheanacho had earlier fouled the defender before the handball was made and so the penalty was ruled out.
Both teams will continue their fight on Tuesday in Nigeria for the return leg. Elsewhere in the qualifiers, Algeria best Cameroon 1-0 while Egypt beat Senegal 1-0. Tunisia did well to beat Mali 1-0 to complete all North Africa victory in the World Cup qualifier.