the match facts and reports:
World Cup 2002
- African qualification - match report
- Nigeria 0:0 Mar
|Before the match
The long awaited match at
Accra suddenly is everything else than the decider between the two group
runanways as it had been expected before the start of the qualifiers. Suddenly
Sudan and Liberia are at the head of the group and Nigeria is seeking to
keep the pace to keep fans and media calm. Ghana, two time losers in three
games, have their own identity problems which have mounted into an exciting
approach of the big match today: they have not invited any European professionals,
stories even speaking of two professionals having arrived from Europe anyway,
demanding to play and being rejected.
The gap between the professionals
and the country further has opened up after the Sudan match when the pointing
fingers at each other became contents even of international media reports.
Bayern based captain Samuel Kuffour complained about the home based players
using superstitious (his interpretation) or religious (others interpretation)
rituals, so called juju, to prepare mentally (Kuffour: unprofessionally)
for the game, and Ghanaian journalists complained about Kuffour had insulted
The professionals are criticised
in polemical style at home ('they want to play but if they will they do
not want to get hurt') after indisciplinary and miserable preperations
in front of the Sudan game and a similar performance against Liberia. An
increasingly successful Hearts Of Oak club side on the other hand increased
the demand for a local based National team but when local coach Jones Attuquayefio
eventually realised the idea for the big match, fears of a debacle against
Nigeria suddenly have arosen.
Because for once Nigeria
themselves seem to concentrate on a game seriously. They have travelled
to Lomé, Togo, for a week to prepare in quiet.
A perfect set up for a fundamential
game of African football.
infos from various forums
(i don't want to give the urls here for spam protection and because of
web traffic congestion already):
The two teams seem to cancel
each other out at the moment with Ghana in relative control of the match
for some time, allowing little space to Nigeria. Both have had only few
Ghana play with their homebased
squad backboned (or entirely composed from ?) by the Hearts Of Oak players,
among them Emmanuel Kuffour, Ishmael Addo, Duah, Adjei, Charles Taylor.
Nigeria play their top line
up Shoronmu, Okpara, Udeze, West, Ifejiagwa, Oliseh, Lawal, Okocha, Finidi,
Kanu, Agali. Hot weather.
After a couple of yellow
cards against Ghana in the first half yellow cards against Finidi and Okpara
in the second. Ghana with the better start into the second half which work
out some exciting goal scenes after an hour of play. Aghahowa has come
on for Nigeria and Okocha has a free kick saved by Adjei. Half chances
for both. Aghahowa retaliates for a foul and is lucky not to see red.
final result 0:0
A respectable result for
the homebased Ghana crew, but also the exit from the World Cup race, at
least from a realistic point of view. The first draw in a group of only
3 point matches yet.