Ghana and Nigeria will renew their rivalry when they meet in their final 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations Group A match, set for Cape Coast Sports Stadium, Today.
Tournament hosts Ghana come into the game in the enviable position of having already secured qualification: they followed up their opening group stage win over Guinea last week with a 1-0 triumph over Mali on Saturday.
The win over the Eagles has assured the Black Stars of a place in the semifinals, regardless of their result against Nigeria. Coach Maxwell Konadu will likely rest key players but don’t expect the hosts to take it easy: the chance to eliminate a major rival like Nigeria is not one they will ignore.
The Super Eagles played to a second straight goalless stalemate when they were held by Guinea on Saturday.
The result leaves them second on the standings, but in need of a positive result against the hosts to ensure they advance into the final four.
Coach Salisu Yusuf has admitted that he is not too concerned over whether his team advances, insisting that preparation for next year’s African Nations Championship is more important.
“It’s football we are playing and we have our own target with the WAFU,” said the Nigeria coach.
“Like I told you earlier, we want to use the WAFU to prepare the CHAN team. It’s football and it didn’t finish well against Guinea. We have a game to play so anything can happen.”
Nigeria can advance if they draw with Ghana, but only if the other group match between Guinea and Mali (which will be played concurrently at Nduom Stadium) also ends in a stalemate.
Ghana and Nigeria have met in 49 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Black Stars have claimed 19 wins – compared to 11 for the Super Eagles – and outscored their opponents 72 goals to 44 in the process.
Ghana v Nigeria, head-to-head
Matches played 49
Ghana wins 19
Nigeria wins 11
Ghana goals 72
Nigeria goals 44
Culled from WAFU