Ghana Show Nigeria Class: Make Push Towards Finals
Ghana Show Nigeria Class: Make Push Towards Finals Website
The much-talked-about Ghana-Nigeria encounter which was greeted with tension and anxiety has ended with the Stars emerging victors with a 2-1 scoreline. The contest started off on a rather unimpressive note but with fair exchanges between the two traditional rivals. With three minutes to go in first half, Ghana trailed Nigeria by one goal to nil. On the stroke of time to go for the end of the second half a magic header brought hope to the Ghanaian fans and team. Yakubu’s 38th minute penalty goal was cancelled by a header beat the Nigerian goalkeeper cheekily. As the second half was yet to begin, a mammoth crowd of fans kept hope alive amid trumpeting and tooting of horns. A sea of red, gold and green furled around with the fans dancing away Michael Essien’s wonderful goal. The vociferous fans are justified, aren’t they? The second half resumed without much excitement except the continuous loyal drumming by the Ghanaian fans. In the 52nd minute Agogo dazzled the goal area of Nigeria but it was no threat to the Eagles. Ten minutes into the second half it was still goalless. In the 56th minute Sulley Muntari set Asamoah Gyan up but he appeared too heavy, lost the ball and signaled the Ghanaian bench, apparently for help. Fifteen minutes into the second half, Ghana received a blow with the sending off of John Mensah for fouling Odemwingie near the Stars’ goal area. The captain of the Black Stars took an early shower, changing the complexion of the game. Soon after that Junior Agogo showed class but was shoved off the ball. In the 63rd minute Laryea Kingston was introduced into the game following the withdrawal of Asamoah Gyan. Almost halfway into the second half Dickson Etuhu went down resulting in a temporary hold-up. Etuhu could not return into the game creating room for the first substitution of Nigeria. At this juncture, Michael Essien had taken the captain band from dismissed John Mensah. Aminu Dramani replaced Quincy Owusu Abayie in the 73rd minute of the game which was played cautiously by both sides. Fans sat on their edges when Dramani daringly took on the Nigerian defence but the finishing was not the best, much to the disappointment of the teeming fans and the relief of the Nigerians. Dramani delivered a good service to Muntari who released the ball to Agogo to register another goal that appeared to have held the hopes of the Ghanaian side higher. Laryea Kingston nearly sealed it off for Ghana in the 85th but he raised the ball over the bar for a welcome goal-kick to the Eagles who were then struggling rather unsuccessfully to fly at this point of the game. Three minutes to go and Ghana was still hanging to a single lingering thread of hope. Thirty yards from the Ghanaian goal area, Nigeria took their last free kick but it did not pose a threat to the Ghanaians. When the referee pulled his whistle to his mouth, the Ghanaian fans stood up, understandably breathless and it was all over. Ghana now enters the semi-final stage of the African football fiesta.