Second half goals from Anthony Okpotu and Peter Moses handed Nigeria a 2-0 win over Ghana in their final Group A game of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, September 18 and consequently a place in the semifinals of the competition.
The Super Eagles started fast and created their first chance on goal in the sixth minute when John Friday intercepted a bad back pass and was left with just the keeper to beat, but he fluffed his shot wide.
A minute later Ghana suffered a big setback when Isaac Twum left the field injured and was replaced by Ahmed Adams.
Nigeria continued to boss the game and almost scored in the 13th minute when Anthony Okpotu broke behind Black Stars defence and even beat the keeper with his shot, but defender Vincent Atingah made it back to clear the ball off the goalline.
Three minutes later Peter Moses was on the attack for the Super Eagles when he drove into the box from the right flank, beating two defenders before seeing his 14-yard shot superbly saved by the keeper.
On the half hour Ghana finally created their first scoring opportunity when Emmanuel Lomotey met a corner with a strong header, but his effort skimmed the wrong side of the crossbar.
Ten minutes later Felix Addo muscled his way into space inside the Nigerian box but saw his ten-yard strike well-saved by the Ghanaian shot-stopper.
The half ended 0-0.
Eight minutes into the second half Nigeria took the lead when Anthony Okpotu showed great strength to hold his marker off to get on the end of a through ball and clinically fired home from six-yards out, 1-0.
Three minutes later the Super Eagles doubled their lead courtesy of a thunderous 20-yard strike from Peter Moses which found the corner of the net, 2-0.
Ghana tried to find their way back into the match but struggled to penetrate the Nigerian defence.
The Black Stars did almost score in the 72nd minute when Emmanuel Lomotey unleashed a powerful long-range free-kick, but his effort was brilliantly saved by the keeper.
That was as close as Ghana came to finding a goal as Nigeria won the game 2-0 and with it progressed into the semifinals of the competition along with the Black Stars.
With the other Group A game between Mali and Guinea ending 1-1 at the Nduom Sports Stadium, it leaves Ghana top of the standings with six points, followed by Nigeria with five points.
Guinea and Mali were left with two points apiece in third and fourth place respectively.
Ghana (0) 0
Nigeria (0) 2 (Okpotu 53’, P Moses 56’)
Ghana coach: Maxwell Konadu
Ghana: 1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S Safro, 5. Atingah, 4. Ampiah (17. Razak 46’), 9. F Addo, 18. Lomotey, 7. Twum (14. Adams 7’), 10. Cobbina, 8. Waja (11. Kelvin 61’), 15. K Safro.
Nigeria coach: Salisu Yusuf
Nigeria: 1. Ezenwa, 2. Okoro, 6. Eze, 12. Aniyikaye, 3. Akas, 4. Aremu, 8. Ifeanyi, 7. Friday (15. Mathias 82’), 11. P Moses, 10. Ali, 9. Okpotu (14. Okechukwu 77’).