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2022 World Cup: Okoye out as Nigeria begin tense training ahead of Ghana cracker

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Tuesday started their preparation for the Qatar FIFA 2022 World Cup playoff battle with the Black Stars of Ghana in the Federal Capital, Abuja ahead of departure to Kumasi on Thursday.

Super Eagles of Nigeria, Three-time African champions Nigeria and four-time African champions Ghana will tango at the 40,000 –capacity Baba Yara Stadium on Friday evening, in the first leg of the explosive fixture in which both teams will battle for a ticket to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals. The return leg will be played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

At lunchtime on Tuesday, 19 of the 25 invited players had arrived at The Wells Carlton Hotel and Apartments. Five others were being expected on Tuesday evening, with only Leicester City of England playmaker Ademola Lookman and new invitee John Noble expected on Wednesday morning.

Read Also: Qatar 2022 World Cup playoffs: Six talking points as Nigeria take on Ghana

Super Eagles Friday’s encounter in Kumasi will be the 58th clash between the two countries’ senior teams, with 18 of those matches have ended in draws. The first encounter was on 20th October 1951, which Nigeria won 5-0.

The last time both teams were involved in a FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture was in 2001, with both seeking a spot at the Korea/Japan 2002 finals. The opening leg at the Accra Sports Stadium was stalemated 0-0, before Nigeria won the return 3-0 inside the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt on 29th July 2001.

Their last meeting, in a friendly match that was staged in London on 11th October 2011, ended 0-0.

Captain Ahmed Musa and deputy captain William Ekong are among the 18 players who are already in camp for the two big games.

Super Eagles Maduka Okoye has been ruled out of the clash against Ghana due to illness and Coach Augustine Eguavoen has extended an invitation to Enyimba FC goalkeeper John Noble to join the squad.

Already in camp: William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Olaoluwa Aina, Frank Onyeka, Odion Ighalo, Daniel Akpeyi, Ahmed Musa, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Abdullahi Shehu, Francis Uzoho, Moses Simon, Emmanuel Dennis, Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, Calvin Bassey, Innocent Bonke, Kenneth Omeruo, Zaidu Sanusi

Expected Tuesday evening: Akinkunmi Amoo, Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen, Sadiq Umar

Expected Wednesday: Ademola Lookman, John Noble

NIGERIA VS GHANA IN HISTORY

20 0ct 1951 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 5 Ghana 0

11 Oct 1953 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

30 Oct 1954 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 0

30 Oct 1955 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 7 Nigeria 0

27 Oct 1956 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 0

27 Oct 1957 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 3 Nigeria 3

25 Oct 1958 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 2

10 Oct 1959 (Olympics Qualifier): Nigeria 3 Ghana 1

26 Oct 1959 (Olympics Qualifier): Ghana 4 Nigeria 1

22 Nov 1959 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 5 Nigeria 2

28 Aug 1960 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 4 Nigeria 1

10 Sep 1960 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 2 Ghana 2

9 Oct 1960 (Nkrumah Cup): Nigeria 0 Ghana 3

29 Oct 1960 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 1 Ghana 1

8 Apr 1961 (AFCON Qualifier): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

30 Apr 1961 (AFCON Qualifier): Ghana 2 Nigeria 2

17 Dec 1961 (Friendly): Ghana 5 Nigeria 1

10 Nov 1962 (Friendly): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

23 Feb 1963 (Nkrumah Cup); Ghana 5 Nigeria 0

30 Oct 1965 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 0 Ghana 4

7 Nov 1965 (Zik Cup): Ghana 3 Nigeria 0

23 Jan 1967 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 2 Ghana 2

12 Feb 1967 (Zik Cup): Ghana 2 Nigeria 0

22 Oct 1967 (Zik Cup): Ghana 2 Nigeria 1

23 Dec 1967 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 2 Ghana 2

10 May 1969 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 2 Ghana 1

18 May 1969 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 1 Nigeria 1

8 Jan 1973 (All-Africa Games): Nigeria 4 Ghana 2

10 Feb 1973 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 2 Ghana 3 – abandoned, match awarded 2-0 to Ghana

25 Feb 1973 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

11 Aug 1974 (Festival): Nigeria 1 Ghana 0

17 Aug 1974 (Festival): Nigeria 0 Ghana 1

24 Aug 1975 (Festival): Ghana 1 Nigeria 2

30 Aug 1975 (Festival): Ghana 3 Nigeria 0

4 Sep 1977 (Ecowas Cup): Nigeria 2 Ghana 1

8 Mar 1978 (AFCON): Ghana 1 Nigeria 1

21 July 1978 (All-Africa Games): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

1 May 1983 (ECA Anniversary): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

15 Oct 1983 (Olympics Qualifier): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

30 Oct 1983 (Olympics Qualifier): Ghana 1 Nigeria 2

5 Mar 1984 (AFCON): Ghana 1 Nigeria 2

27 July 1986 (Friendly): Ghana 2 Nigeria 0

2 Sep 1990 (AFCON Qualifier): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

13 Apr 1991 (AFCON Qualifier): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

23 Jan 1992 (AFCON): Ghana 2 Nigeria 1

9 Mar 1994 (Friendly): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

28 Aug 1999 (Friendly): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

11 Mar 2001 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

29 July 2001 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 3 Ghana 0

3 Feb 2002 (AFCON): Ghana 0 Nigeria 1

15 Dec 2002 (Friendly): Ghana 0 Nigeria 1

30 May 2003 (LG Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 1

23 Jan 2006 (AFCON): Ghana 0 Nigeria 1

6 Feb 2007 (Friendly): Ghana 4 Nigeria 1

3 Feb 2008 (AFCON): Ghana 2 Nigeria 1

28 Jan 2010 (AFCON): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

11 Oct 2011 (Friendly): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

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