By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
The 71-year old rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana on the football field will hit a combustible point in March when the Super Eagles and the Black Stars battle for a single ticket to the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.
According to the draw for the Qatar 2022 African series play-off draw held in Yaounde on Saturday evening, four–time African champions Ghana will host the first leg with the reverse encounter in Nigeria, both to hold between 24th – 29th March.
The draw was conducted by Samson Adamu, CAF’s Director of Competitions and African football legends El Hadj Diouf and Emmanuel Adebayor.
The Super Eagles emerged from a group comprising themselves, Liberia, Cape Verde and Central African Republic to be eligible for the play-offs, while the Black Stars prevailed over South Africa 1-0 on the final day in an explosive and controversial duel in Cape Coast. Ethiopia and Zimbabwe were the other teams in the pool.
Nigeria have played against Ghana more than any other country in the world in football, with a total of 57 senior matches between both countries in 71 years. Ghana have won 19 of those clashes with Nigeria winning 16, and 19 drawn.
Ghana have been bundled out of the ongoing 33rd Africa Cup of Nations, earning only one point in three matches and losing to Morocco and Comoros, while scoring only three goals and conceding five. Nigeria is the only country to make a clean sweep of the stakes in the group phase, winning all three matches, scoring six goals and conceding one, and squares up with Tunisia in a Round of 16 match in Garoua on Sunday.
In the past, Nigeria and Ghana have clashed in qualifying campaigns for the 1962, 1970, 1974 and 2002 World Cup finals. In the most recent, Ghana and Nigeria stalemated 0-0 in Accra and the Eagles won 3-0 in Port Harcourt to qualify for the 2002 finals in Korea/Japan.
ALL THE FIXTURES
Ghana Vs Nigeria
Egypt Vs Senegal
Cameroon Vs Algeria
DR Congo Vs Morocco
Mali Vs Tunisia