Jordan Ayew goal not enough as Ghana lose to Nigeria in international friendly

3 months ago

Jordan Ayew scored late as ten-man Ghana succumbed to a 2-1 loss to Nigeria in an international friendly in Morocco on Friday.

Playing under the tutelage of Otto Addo, the Black Stars showed character and desire in the game but fell short following two goals from Dessers Cyriel and Ademola Lookman.

The game which forms part of Ghana’s build up to the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mali and Central African Republic in June gave Otto Addo the opportunity to asses his team.

Ghana started on a strong foot but it was Nigeria who took the lead from the spot. Referee Jayed Jalal pointed to the spot after the ball hit the arm of Jerome Opoku in the box. Dessers Cyriel smashed home the spot kick in the 38th minute to give Nigeria a first half lead.

Antoine Semenyo nearly gave Ghana a quick response after he was put through by Ernest Nuamah but his left foot shot went wide as Nigeria went into the break with a 1-0 cushioning.

Back from recess, Patrick Kpozo made way for Tariq Lamptey in a tactical substitution. But Jerome Opoku was given the marching orders in the 56th minute for dissent.

Ghana coach Otto Addo switched Alidu Seidu to the left back position as Baba Iddrisu made way for Ebenezer Annan in a diamond system that saw Annan operate on the wings.

Kasim Nuhu was later brought on for Forson Amankwaa to bring stability at the back as Ghana piled pressure for the equalizer. The Black Stars lifted up their game and came close in 72nd minute after Jordan Ayew sent in an in swinger for Antoine Semenyo but the AFC Bournemouth forward failed to connect the cross much to relieve of the Super Eagles.

The Black Stars looked very comfortable on the ball with some inter-positional play despite being a man down. Antoine Semenyo won Ghana a penalty in the 95th minute and Jordan Ayew was on hand to score his 23rd international goal for Ghana.

Pressure mounted on Nigeria in the closing stages but George Finidi’s side held on for their first win since their Africa Cup of Nations final loss to Cote D’Ivoire.

Ghana will take on Uganda in another friendly game on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.