4 things we learned as Super Eagles beat Ghana in Jollof Derby

4 things we learned as Super Eagles beat Ghana in Jollof Derby
Credit: @SSE_NGA

The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated Ghana 2-1 in an international friendly in Marrakech, Morocco on Friday evening.

Led by coach Finidi George, Nigeria dominated the Black Stars in the first-half and the team got their reward as Cyriel Dessers converted from the spot seven minutes before half-time.

With Ghana in need of inspiration in the second half, Jerome Opoku made life more difficult for Otto Addo's men after receiving a straight red card in the 56th minute to give Nigeria an excellent foothold in the game.

The Super Eagles made the most of their one-man advantage as they doubled their lead through Ademola Lookman with six minutes left to the end of regulation time.

And in added time, Jordan Ayew scored what looked to be a consolation goal as the Super Eagles edged Ghana 2-1 to record their first win since 2006 over their arch rivals in the Jollof Derby.

Four things we learned as the Super Eagles defeated Ghana 2-1

Cyriel Dessers scored his second goal for Nigeria

Dessers, who has been out of the Super Eagles team for a long time, made a comeback following a scintillating season with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership this current campaign.

Since he opened his goal account for Nigeria in a 1-1 friendly against Mexico on 28 May 2022, the 29-year-old striker hasn't increased his tally.

To be fair, he has played just 5 games for Nigeria since his debut against Tunisia on 13 October 2020. And on his fifth appearance for the Super Eagles against Ghana, Dessers netted from the spot in what is his second goal for Nigeria.

Ademola Lookman is the Super Eagles top scorer in 2024

Lookman has been in great form for Nigeria this year. The Atalanta man was superb for Jose Peseiro's Super Eagles team who went all the way to the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring decisive goals in the process for the team.

The 26-year-old forward netted three times in Ivory Coast and also bagged a goal against Ghana to take his goal tally for the Super Eagles in 2024 to four. With his latest strike, he became the most scoring player in the team this year.

Ademola Lookman got Super Eagles second goal
Credit: Icon Sport

Alex Iwobi was superb for the Super Eagles

Iwobi came under fire after Nigeria's 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast in the AFCON 2023 finals. So great was the backlash from angry Nigerians that the Fulham midfielder deactivated his Instagram account to stop the insults meted to him.

There were even talks that Iwobi was going to retire early from international duty as a result of the incident. However, the 27-year-old midfielder didn't bow to the pressure but instead made himself available for the country in this month's friendlies.

Iwobi's masterclass in the middle of the park for Nigeria against the Black Stars aided the Finidi George led team to control the game. Iwobi was instrumental in Ademola's goal as he provided the assist to all but ensure a comfortable win for Nigeria.

The Black Stars were gallant despite the defeat

Nigeria finished the first-half the better side with a goal, 53% ball possession, five shots on target with little effort from Stanley Nwabali in goal. On the other hand, Ghana registered just one attempt on target with their goalkeeper making four saves.

However, the Ghanaians were reduced to ten-men in the second half but they didn't lie low. Instead the Black Stars performed better than they did with 11 players, registering more shots (six) than Nigeria (five) with two on target, one more than the Super Eagles.

Despite going 2-0 down, Otto Addo's men managed to pull a goal back in added time to keep the scores in a respectable manner, a goal that showcased resilience and a fighting spirit.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.