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Ghana vs Nigeria: Two rivals battle for one World Cup ticket

 


Pull out your chair. The table is set. A ‘Jollof Derby’ is on the menu.

There is always nothing friendly about a match between Nigeria and Ghana.

Forget the pre-match rituals of back slaps and handshakes. Fierce banter awaits post-match.

When the Super Eagles file out at the Kumasi Stadium on Friday evening for the first leg of their 2022 World Cup playoff, they will be welcomed by raucous fans and an intimidating atmosphere.

The three-time African champions knew from the airport that they are not very welcomed here, as they practically had to hop off their plane on arrival.

On paper, Nigeria, the third-best team in Africa, are slight favourites to edge it over the two legs.

Augustine Eguavoen boasts of some of the best attackers in his squad and would have learned a lesson or two after their shock elimination at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. All he needs to do is ensure his tactical set-up is adept, as it would be crucial to take a first-leg advantage back to Abuja

On their part, Ghana will be hoping to offer better, following their poor showing at the AFCON. The Black Stars departed Cameroon after the group stages, finishing bottom of a group that had debutants Comoros.

Otto Addo’s squad has been hit with withdrawals, injuries and suspensions. But they will have an in-form Thomas Partey to anchor their midfield. There is also the peerless record whenever they play at the Babayara Stadium.

Bragging rights are at stake. Social media is waiting with bated breath. And, oh, there’s the small matter of one World Cup ticket up for grabs.

The World Cup ticket is important. But there will be also be bragging rights at stake

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