By El-Amisty Nobo & Michael Amoah
Two goals from Stephen Sarfo and a goal each from Hearts of Oak duo – [Vincent Atingah, Winful Cobbinah] was all but the padlock Ghana needed to shut the door on Nigeria in the finals of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations on Sunday, September 24.
The two sides struggled to find their feet in the first quarter of the game as they battle for superiority but Black Stars B midfielder Emmanuel Lomotey came close to breaking the deadlock in the 15th and the 25th minutes respectively.
The Black Stars B came close knocking at goal again in the 36th minute through Isaac Twum’s long drive from 18-yards out, but Ikechukwu Ezenwa proved why he’s the first choice goalkeeper for the Super Eagles as he pulled a magnificent save to deny the Ghana captain.
Nigeria was shot in the foot by a false majeure in the 40th minute when Olamilekan Adeleye Aniyikaye due through injury as he was replaced by Emmanuel Ariwachukwu.
Stephen Sarfo fired Ghana into the lead in the 45th minute as he shot at goal from outside the eighteen yard box with his back facing the post.
Nigeria hardly threatens in the first half as they tried to keep Ghana at bay with the view to pouncing at them in the second half.
Nigeria came into the picture right from the blast of the whistle in the second half except that they were finding things difficult in locating Rabiu Ali in the attacking third of the field.
With Nigeria pressing high and trying to regulate their ‘drone’ to capture Rabiu, it was Ghana’s super sub – Patrick Razak, who changed the game abruptly winning two penalty situations for the Black Stars B.
Hearts of Oak central defender Vincent Atingah extended the lead for Ghana in the 58th minute through the spot. Stephen Sarfo also benefited from the penalty fruit of Patrick Razak as he scored his second goal of the evening.
Winful Cobbinah extended scored Ghana’s last goal with Patrick Razak serving as the assist as Eze clashed with his own goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa in the box.
Nigeria quickly regrouped and pulled one back from Rabiu Ali’s well taken free kick in time added on from 23-yards away.
Below are the starting line-ups of both teams:
Ghana: Joseph Addo, Amos Frimpong, Thomas Abbey, Vincent Atingah, Samuel Sarfo, Isaac Twum [Captain], Emmanuel Lomotey, Gideon Waja, Stephen Sarfo, Kwame Kizito, Winful Cobbinah.
Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa [Captain], Moses Okoro Osadebamwen, Uche Akas, Eze, Olamilekan Adeleye Aniyikaye, Afeez Olalekan Aremu, Ifeanyi, Friday, Anthony Okpotu, Rabiu Ali, Moses Eneji Peter.
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