When Ghana and Nigeria take to the field to play Ghana on October 11th 2011, Nigeria will be trying to end a run of successive defeats against the black stars. Often it’s hard to gage the importance of friendly games but such is the rivalry between the two nations and the fact that Nigeria have not beaten Ghana for five years! (2006 African Cup of nations where Nigeria won 1-0). So it can be argued Nigeria have a few scores to settle. The last time the two teams met was at the 2010 African cup of nations, where an Asamoah Gyan header settled the game 1-0 to Ghana. Subsequently in the summer of that year Ghana enjoyed a successful World Cup campaign whilst Nigeria suffered an early exit at the group stages (which led to their own president banning them from playing competitive football!, this ban was later lifted after pressure from FIFA).
Prior to that Ghana have triumphed against the Super Eagles 4-1 in 2007 and 2-1 in the CAN 2008. So It is fair to say over the past five years Ghana have had the better of Nigeria and have become one of Africa’s best teams whilst Nigeria have slipped behind. Does this mean the Super Eagles will be itching to beat the Black Stars? Well Like I have said before no team will want to lose and the pride of their fans are at stake.
The result may depend on the players each team fields in the match at Watford. In Ghana last friendly England were criticised for fielding a so called “weakened “team against the Black Stars, so it will be interesting to see who plays. Naturally fans want to see the best players so let’s hope the likes of Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari, John Obi Mikel and Peter Odemwinge will be in action on 09 August. Win, lose or draw I will just be satisfied with a good performance from the Black stars. However deep down a loss to Nigeria won’t sit with me too well such is my passion for Ghana and the fact we are playing our west African cousins. We need to maintain the bragging rights, so boys do us proud !
Ben JK Anim-Antwi