By Emmanuel Okogba
Nigeria has crashed out of the race to qualify for the World Cup later this year after drawing 1-1 with Ghana and losing on aggregate.
After ending the first half on a high, forcing Joe Wollacott into a series of saves and even having a goal from Victor Osimhen ruled out for offside, the Super Eagles failed to continue with that momentum in the second half.
From Osimhen’s failed over-head kicks on two occassions, to wasted free-kicks and crosses beyond targets, the Nigerian side looked too relaxed in the second half for a team chasing a game and trying to overturn an away goal disavantage.
Ghana opened scoring in the 10th minute from a Thomas Partey shot outside Nigeria’s box that Francis Uzoho failed to deal with.
Parity was restored when Denis Odoi brought down Ademola Lookman in the 18-yard-box which resulted in a penalty for Nigeria after a VAR check. William Ekong dispatched it, sending the goakeeper the wrong way.
What followed was a flurry of chances and missed opportunities which should have killed the game off in the first half, but Eguavoen’s men failed to capitalise.
Ghana held on for all of the second half and booked a return to the World Cup after their 2018 miss.