Super Eagles humble 10-man Ghana in friendly

Super Eagles humble 10-man Ghana in friendly
Credit @FansTribeHQ X

The Super Eagles of Nigeria locked horns with the Black stars of Ghana in an international friendly in Marrakech, Morocco, on Friday evening.

The Nigerian side, who have a rich history with their Ghanaian counterparts, were led by Enyimba coach George Finidi in an interim capacity.

Despite nothing being at stake, the rivalry was enough to bring the best out of both sides. It wasn't the most elite squad from both sides, but it didn't disappoint.

Benjamin Tanimu made his debut, while Cyril Dessers played his fifth game for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles beat the Black Stars of Ghana 2-1 to earn bragging rights over their West African neighbours.

Ghana pays the penalty in the first half against the Super Eagles

Cyril Dessers scores Super Eagles first goal against Ghana
redit @FansTribeHQ X

The Super Eagles started the first half with the better offensive play. Without Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho and Cyril Dessers led the attack.

The Nigerian side had more of the ball as they forced the Ghanaians back into their box. For all their attacking play, the Super Eagles struggled to unlock a tight Ghanaian defence.

By midway into the first half, the Super Eagles had created three chances but failed to take any of them. It allowed the Ghanaians to settle into a comfortable defensive shape.

The Super Eagles were also poor with their passes, especially in the final phase of the attack.

The Black Stars offered little in attack but were stout in defending. It meant Stanley Nwabali, who has now officially claimed the number-one spot for the Super Eagles, had little to do.

In the 31st minute, Nigeria had the chance to score the first goal. From a free kick, Iheanacho got on to the ball first, but the goalkeeper was alert and got on to the ball before he could pull the trigger.

In the 35th minute, the Super Eagles had the chance to open the score after the Ghanaian defence committed a foul inside the box to hand Nigeria a penalty.

Cyril Dessers stepped forward and sidefooted it into the net, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Nigeria the lead.

The goal stung the Ghanaians into action as they tried to come out of their defensive cocoon, but the Super Eagles defence did well to contain their attack.

In a rare foray into attack, the Black Stars launched a counter-attack that caught the Nigerian defence napping, but the Baba Idrissu was profligate as he blazed his shot over the bar.

The Ghanaian side put up a feeble effort in the tail end of the half, but the Super Eagles handled it comfortably as the first half ended 1-0 in Nigeria's favour.

Ademola Lookman continues his rich scoring form for Super Eagles

Ademola Lookman got Super Eagles second goal
Photo by Icon Sport

The Ghanaians started the second on the front foot with some crisp passing that could have unlocked the Nigerian defence, but composed defending kept them at bay.

It was all Ghana in the first five minutes of the second half, with the Super Eagles barely getting a sniff in attack.

Nigeria could have doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute. After a well-worked move, Iheanacho found himself with the goal in sight, but he shot wide.

The Black Stars responded almost immediately. After some crisp passes in front of the Nigerian box, a pull-out into the box was nodded goal-bound by Jordan Ayew, but Nwabali parried it for a corner kick.

The second half saw the Ghanaian side defending better as they threw more men into attack.

As the Black Stars played urgently, the Super Eagles picked their moments as they looked for holes in their opponent's defensive architecture.

In the 56th minute, Ghana was reduced to ten men after Jerome Opoku received his marching orders.

Without support, Dessers was isolated in attack and could do little.

In the 62nd minute, Dessers could have gotten his brace, but a low cut-back into the box by Bruno Onyemaechi was knocked inches wide by the Rangers forward.

A double substitution in the 72nd minute saw Dessers and Ndidi make way for Moses Simon and Raphael Onyedika.

Ghana came close to an equalizer in the 76th minute but was wasteful.

Tariq Lamptey caused Nigeria many problems and won a free kick in the 81st minute. From the free kick, Ghana forced Nwabali into a fantastic save.

In the 84th minute, Ademola Lookman, who came on in the second half, scored Nigeria's second goal.

After a well-worked move, Lookman found himself unmarked in the box and put the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Black Stars kept pushing for a consolation goal to no avail.

Their pressure finally paid off as they were awarded a penalty deep into added time. Jordan Ayew dispatched it with aplomb, sending Nwabali the wrong way.

Nigeria v Ghana Lineups

Stanley Nwabali, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Benjamin Tanimu, Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, Bruno Onyemaechi, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi (Raphael Onyedika 72), Kelechi Iheanacho, yril Dessers (Moses Simon 72)

Francis Uzoho, Olorunleke Ojo, Jamilu Collins, Ademola Lookman, Sadiq Umar, Nathan Tella, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Moses Simon, Alhassan Yusuf, Raphael Onyedika, Calvin Bassey, Kenneth Omeruo

Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Alidu Seidu, Edmund Addo, Forson Amankwaa (Kasim Adams 63), Jordan Ayew, Patrick Kpozo, Jerome Opoku, Abdul Samed Salis, Ernest Nuamah, Antoine Semenya, Baba Iddrisu

Denis Odoi, Kasim Adams, Abdul FatauIssahaku, Osman Bukari, Joseph Wollacott, Tariq Lamptey, Francis Abu, Ebenezer annan, Abdulai Nurudeen, Ibrahim Osman, Frederick Asare

This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.