|The crucial moment Ghana had their hearts in their mouth but VAR rescued them from a potential penalty concession. (Photo credit: Twitter)|
It is delicately poised between Nigeria and Ghana in their Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier after the duo played out a goalless draw in a packed Baba Yare Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana on Friday night.
The Black Stars were without their talismanic striker Andrew Dede Ayew but he was in the stands to watch his teammates battle it out with the three time African Champions who were also without Wilfred Ndidi, Maduka Okoye and Alex Iwobi.
Ghana were the first to show intents on the night with forays down the left by AS Roma forward, Afena Gyan.
But nothing of note was registered against the Super Eagles who soon got a foothold on the game and dominated key areas.
Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze were the expected outlets for Nigeria but both were underwhelming on the night.
Though Simon had the best chance of the night for both sides when his effort in the Ghana area was saved by the Ghanaian shot stopper late in the second half.
Thomas Partey was the orchestrator for the hosts as expected but Nigerian duo of Innocent Bonke and Joe Aribo kept him quite to a great extent to deter him from wrecking havocs.
Ghana did have a great effort on goal in the closing stages of the first half but Francis Uzoho in the Nigerian goal was up to it.
The second half saw Ghana smoking hot but the Super Eagles contained their runs and Ghana had VAR to thank late in the second half when Idrissa Baba handled in the area and a penalty was awarded to the visitors.
VAR asked the referee to see the pitch side monitor and it was revealed that Iheanacho had fouled the Ghana defender in the process before he fell and handled the ball.
The game ended in a frustrating goalless draw with fans taking to social media to rant as they expected more from both sides considering the pre-match hype and preparations.
The tricky second leg will take place in Abuja on Tuesday in a winner takes all affair.