World Cup Play-off: How Nigeria Vs Ghana Winner Will Be Decided
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By Amaechi Agbo
The last leg of the 2022 World Cup play-off match between Nigeria and Ghana will be decided on Tuesday. It is a “winner-take-all” clash that sees two of the fearsome rivalries tango once again.
The first leg was a drab barren draw in Kumasi on Friday and all eyes are on the final leg in Abuja. One fact is that at the end of the 90 minutes Tuesday, a winner must emerge.
These are the four possible ways the winner will be announced on Tuesday:
1. Outright win: A winner will emerge with 1-0, 2-1 or more win margin within the 90-minute regulation
2. Away Goal: Ghana will pick the ticket if the match ends in a score draw. For instance, 1-1 2-2 will hand the ticket in favour of Ghana.
3. Barren Draw: In an event the match ends 0-0, there will be an extra time 30 minutes halved by 15 minutes and one minute break. A winner is expected to emerge at this point but should the two teams fail to score, then….
4. Penalty Shootout. The match will move into penalty shootout once no winner emerged in the extra time.
THE DANGER: Should the match go into penalty shootout, players of both teams would be afraid or totally reluctant to be selected among the shooters. This is because whoever misses his kick and hands the ticket over to the other team, will live not to forget it. It is critically dicey.
So these are possibilities to get the winner in the match on Tuesday and Ghana, no doubt, have the upper hand. Since they prevented the Super Eagles from scoring on Friday, pressure is now on the Augustine Eguavoen-led lads to do the job at home.
Nigeria will play to score and at the same time not allow Ghana score. This disposition is always hard to achieve because it exposes your team at the both end. Perhaps, the 12th man, the fans could come in their favour with CAF approving the 60, 000 capacity Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja to be filled, nothing is settled yet.
Ghana, as they were in first leg, would be conservative, soak the initial pressure and hit Nigeria on counter, score early goal and close the rank, perhaps.
It is going to be an interesting match on Tuesday and do not also forget, that apart from the 2022 World Cup ticket up for take, a whooping €12.5 million is also up for grab as qualification bonus from world Football Federation, FIFA.
This is a match that players from both teams would not want to lose. Both countries have football pedigree and either will make good representation for Africa in Asia in November