Black Stars suffer defeat to Nigeria on Otto Addo’s return

Jordan Ayew challenged by a Nigerian player during their friendly match at the Stade de Marrakech

The Super Eagles of Nigeria showed no empathy to Ghana’s returning gaffer Otto Addo after condemning the Black Stars to a 2-1 defeat in Morocco. George Finidi’s men showed why they finished second in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast by shooting into a first-half lead at the Stade de Marrakech.

Otto Addo who will take charge of the team on a full-time basis in May started Lawrence Ati-Zigi in goal while Jordan Ayew captained and led the side in attack. Nigeria exerted early dominance and their efforts were rewarded when Cyriel Dessers slotted from the penalty spot after a handball incident by Ghana.

Ghana’s efforts to pull parity did not yield any good results with Antoine Semenyou missing the best chance that fell to the Black Stars. The Black Stars settled to Nigeria’s lead as they ended the first half trailing.

Back from the break, Otto Addo made a double change as Tariq Lamptey replaced FC Baník Ostrava’s defender Patrick Kpozo and Ebenezer Annan on-loan at Serbian SuperLiga club Novi Pazar from Bologna replaced Baba Iddrisu. Ghana got into new momentum and pushed for the equalizer but their efforts were quickly undone by a red card to Jerome Opoku who was adjudged to have elbowed an opponent.

Baba Iddrisu drives away from Benjamin Tanimu in Ghana vs Nigeria in an international friendly

Kassim Nuhu replaced Amankwah Forson following Jerome Opoku’s sending-off as Ghana needed another pair of legs in defence. Though a man down, Ghana still had more fire to heat in Nigeria’s half but the Super Eagles took advantage of the numerical superiority to get their second goal. Substitute Ademola Lookman combined well with Alex Iwobi to score Nigeria’s second with barely six minutes left to play.

However, Ghana’s efforts were rewarded with a consolation when Jordan Ayew was presented with the opportunity to score from the spot. the Crystal Palace forward stepped up and calmly sent the ball past Stanley Nwabili to snatch a consolation for the Black Stars. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Ibrahim Osman replaced Ernest Nuamah and Jordan Ayew respectively late on in added time.

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