JUST IN: Preview, Head-to-head As Nigeria, Ghana Lock Horns In Marrakech

Preview, Head-to-head As Nigeria, Ghana Lock Horns In Marrakech

Preview, Head-to-head As Nigeria, Lock Horns In Marrakech

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The perennial rivalry in football between Nigeria's and their Ghanaian counterparts, Black Stars, will be reignited when they lock horns in the bustling Moroccan city of Marrakech today in the latest supremacy battle between the two West powerhouses. It is the first time either nation will take to the football field since suffering at the delayed 2023 Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d'Ivoire, albeit at various stages of the tournament.

The Super Eagles lost in the final to hosts Cote d'Ivoire, while the Black Stars exited the continental competition at the group stage and had to sack their coach, Chris Hughton, who has been replaced by the handler of the team, Otto Addo on an interim basis. Nigeria may have ended second at the AFCON, but this is the first time Super Eagles will be meeting Ghana's Black Stars since they denied them a ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Nigeria will be without their top star Victor Osimhen and on field captain, Williams Troost-Ekong, while Ghana will be the service of forward Mohammed Kudus.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Super Eagles interim coach, said the Eagles are presently in high station in African football, having finished as runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire, and everything must be done to maintain that status and even exceed it.

“We finished in second place at the Africa Cup of Nations and everyone expects us to maintain that high rating and be even better in a short while. Our objective is to get good results in these two matches and stay positive ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

“They call it matches but there is really nothing friendly when you play, especially Ghana. I have been involved in matches against Ghana since the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal. Matches between our countries are serious duels and always seen as battles by our peoples. The Black Stars did not perform that well at the recent Africa Cup of Nations and they will be keen to banish that memory,” Finidi said. 

Head-to-head

Despite boasting seven times more population than Ghana, Nigeria have always found the former Ghana a difficult nut to crack in the football game.

Black Stars have enjoyed arguably more success in football than Nigeria, and definitely makes this match a far from being a walk in the park for the Eagles.The Black Stars have won the Africa Cup of Nations four times, one more than the Super Eagles.

Ghana have been to the FIFA World Cup on four occasions, reaching the quarterfinals in 2010. By contrast, Nigeria have never made it past the second round at the Mundial.

In direct meetings, Ghana also hold the advantage, beating Nigeria 22 times and losing only 11 of 53 games since their first meeting in 1950.

No other nation has beaten Nigeria more times than Ghana and the 78 goals the Eagles have conceded against the Black Stars is the highest of any opposition they have ever faced.

The last time these two teams met, Ghana celebrated after making it to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the expense of the .

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