FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers: Three reasons why Nigeria will beat Ghana at Abuja National Stadium 

Nigeria will host Ghana in the second leg of their FIFA World Cup Qualifier tie on Tuesday
Nigeria will host Ghana in the second leg of their FIFA World Cup Qualifier tie on Tuesday

The final round of the FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers kicked off yesterday. Five out of 10 African teams are fighting to seal their spots in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The qualification ties saw some of the continent's biggest teams go up against each other. But it was the Ghana vs Nigeria contest which was, arguably, the most talked-about.

An entertaining first-leg was staged at the Kumasi Sports Stadium as neither side could score in the encounter. Augustine Eguavoen's men resisted the Black Stars' threat despite them having most of the ball during the encounter. A massive second-leg at the Abuja National Stadium on Tuesday is what fans are looking forward to.

Having romped through the last African Cup of Nations group stage, the Super Eagles were expected to seal their qualification spot in Qatar without any hiccups. However, the reverse was the case as Eguavoen's men failed to register a shot-on-goal in the first leg of the FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers.

Not only that, but the three-time African Champions also had fewer potent attacks and goal attempts. As such, one begins to wonder if they will progress to the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Hence, we'll be giving you three reasons why the Super Eagles will defeat the Black Stars in the return leg on Tuesday.

Home advantage

The importance of fans in a football game cannot be over-emphasized. Not only do they stimulate the players' performance, they can also prejudice the referee's decision in favor of the home team. Most of the spectors at the Kumasi Stadium were solidly behind Otto Addo's men as the 40,528-capacity arena filled up.

For the entirety of the game, the constant singing and chants from the home team fans was something to talk about as it energized the Black Stars. Which, on the other hand, created panic and lack of focus for Eguavoen's men.

The Super Eagles will get the same reception in the second leg of the FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers. This will positively impact their chances of qualifying. The venue that will host the return leg on Tuesday incorporates 60,491 spectators, with almost all of them likely to be Nigerian fans.

Nigeria have better players

The Super Eagles are undoubtedly the stronger side as per FIFA rankings. They also have a more star-studded squad than the Black Stars, which makes them the favorites.

How Ghana's defense was able to cage the lethal Nigerian forwards like Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Moses Simon still amazes me. But Eguavoen will definitely look into it and do the needful.

That being said, the Ghana team also has a few elite players in Gideon Mensah, Jordan Ayew, and Daniel Amartey. The Black Stars will only benefit from the absence of Wilfried Ndidi, who would have been evenly matched with the equally experienced Thomas Partey.

Uzoho factor

Francis Uzoho was undoubtedly the hero for the Super Eagles in their stalemate with the Black Stars. He made two decent saves, denying Mohammed Kudus and Abdul Fatawu in either half. His masterclass in the first leg has rekindled the debate on who should be the Super Eagles' first-choice shot stopper, on social media.

If he can keep up his form in the return leg of the FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers, the job will be easier for the Super Eagles. His crucial saves showed why he is the right man to replace Maduaka Okoye.

Quick Links

Edited by Akshay Saraswat
App download animated image Get the free App now