It was a scrappy affair in Kumasi as Ghana hosted Nigeria in the first leg of the World Cup qualifier.

The hosts started strong, looking to test the Nigerian backline with long balls over the top. The visitors took a while to get into the game.

While their defenders withstood the Ghanaian attacks, they struggle to hold the ball up the pitch, and their attempts at pressing made it easier for Ghana to get the ball forward.

They grew into the first half though, and began to get the ball into the final third with regularly. It was a half of two halves, with Nigeria enjoying the better of the latter stages.

In truth though, neither goalkeeper was overworked, and that continued to be the case in the second half. Ghana started aggressively once again but, once they withstood the initial attempts, Nigeria continued to grow into proceedings.

It always felt like a game that might end without a goal, and in truth any sight at goal was as likely to come from a mistake, or a piece of individual quality, as it was from the organised possession of either side.

With a second leg to play, it remained cagey throughout, and both sides will head to Nigeria knowing that a win on the day will see them through.


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