The Super Eagles of Nigeria held the Black Stars of Ghana to a goalless draw in the first leg of their 2022 World Cup qualifying playoffs at the in Kumasi on Friday night, Completesports.com repors.
Despite the tensed atmosphere inside the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, the Eagles dealt with the pressure well and had good chances to open scoring.
The game saw the duo of Ademola Lookman and Calvin Bassey making their debut for the Eagles.
Both teams are now expected to go for broke when they clash in the second leg billed for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja on Tuesday.
Ghana almost got the opener on 15 minutes from a through pass, but Leon Balogun made a timely intervention.
In the 19th minute, Ghana went close again but William Troost-Ekong made a good block.
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The Eagles had their first chance on 21 minutes, but Victor Osimhen failed to connect off Zaidu Sanusi’s cross.
On 27 minutes, a dangerous cross from Gideon Mensah hit Ola Aina and almost ended in the back of the net.
On 32 minutes Francis Uzoho pulled off a brilliant save as he parried away a ferocious left-foot shot from Abdul Fatawu Issahaku.
Four minutes later Osimhen connected with a good cross from Troost-Ekong which was well saved by the Black Stars goalkeeper,Joseph Wollacot.
With five minutes left in the first half Joe Aribo raced on to a fine lobbed pass from Aina but blazed his effort over the bar from a good position.
Simon had the Eagles best chance on 55 minutes after he was played through on goal by Kelechi Iheanacho, but his effort was saved by the Ghanaian keeper.
On 70 minutes, Uzoho made a brilliant save parrying a well drilled left foot shot away for a corner.
The Eagles thought they had won a penalty after a Ghanaian defender handled the ball inside the box, but after consultations with VAR, the decision was overturned due to a foul by Iheanacho in the buildup to the incident.
With three minutes left, Ghana broke on the left but the delivery evaded everybody.