Ghana were held to scoreless draw by Nigeria in the first leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification play – off on Friday night at the Babayara sports stadium.
Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho pulled a spectacular save in the 32nd minute when Fatawu Issahaku thought he had found the breakthrough with a fierce left footed effort from outside the area Ghana but Uzoho denied him.
In the second half Nigeria could have taken taken the lead when Moses Simon was played through on goal but he was denied by goalkeeper Joseph Wollacot.
The Super Eagles had a penalty reversed by VAR as the West African derby ended 0-0.
The second leg takes place in Abuja on Tuesday but here are our player ratings from the Black Stars players.
GK Joseph Wollacot – 6/10 – In truth, Wollacot justified by new head coach Otto Addo kept faith in him by denying Moses Simon from close range. It was a key moment in the game as Jojo delivered a top -class save with his legs.
RB Dennis Odoi – 6/10 – Age is just a number for Odoi. The 33-year old marked a wonderful debut for the Black Stars. The game was huge but the Club Brugge defender excelled by marking out Nigeria’s dangerous wingers in Simon and Samuel Chukwueze. They simply could not bypass him.
LB Gideon Mensah – 7/10 – What a monstrous display, Gideon. He was effective throughout the 90 minutes of the game. Very confident with the ball and he defended so well.
CB Daniel Amartey – 7/10 – The Leiecester City man was never threatened by any of the Super Eagles attackers. He was in control against Victor Osimhem and Kelechi Iheanacho.
CB Alexander Djiku – 6/10 – Alongside Amartey at the back, the duo did a fantastic job.
DM Baba Iddrisu – 6/10 – Did his job well to cut out most of the dangerous moves of the opponents through the middle.
CM Thomas Partey – 5/10 – The Arsenal star failed to patrol the Ghana midfield as expected. He gave away few balls that could have resulted in Ghana conceding. He was not a main man for the Black Stars.
AM Mohammed Kudus – 6/10 – The play-maker excited the Babayata crowd with a bold performance but at times he overdid it.
RF Fatawu Issahaku – 5/10 – His best part of the game was his 32nd minute effort saved by Francis Uzoho. Aside that, the former Ghana U20 player failed to produce any more positive moves as he was taken off for Osman Bukari in the second half.
LF Jordan Ayew – 5/10 – Another Ghana match, another low performance from the Crystal Palace attacker. He tried to take on the Nigeria defence but he was mostly unsuccessful in creating any meaningful opportunities either for himself or his teammates. It was a big shame that he was booed by the home fans when he was substituted.
CF Afena Gyan – 6/10 – Good moves, he darted so well in the area and was somehow more of a threat to the Nigeria backline than any of the Black Stars attackers.
Subs – N/A