• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Dessers, Lookman goals earn Nigeria 2-1 win over 10-man Ghana


The Super Eagles of Nigeria earned a 2-1 over the Black Stars of Ghana in an international friendly match played in the Moroccan city of Marrakech on Friday.

Goals from Atalanta winger Ademola Lookman and Rangers forward Cyriel Dessers sealed a convincing victory for  Nigeria against 10-man Ghana to bounce back from last month’s painful 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final defeat by edging out 10-man Ghana in a high-profile friendly contest on Friday.

The win is also a morale boost for interim Super Eagles coach Finidi George’s hopes of getting the vacant manager’s job on a full-time basis despite the absence of attacking talisman Victor Osimhen due to injury.
Dessers gave dominant Nigeria a deserved advantage from the penalty spot after Ghana were penalised for handball, with Jerome Opoku later sent off in confusing circumstances to give the Black Stars a mountain to climb in their first game following another dismal AFCON campaign that led to Chris Hughton being sacked after a second successive group stage exit.

However, there were still plenty of positives to be taken by returning Ghana coach Otto Addo, who despite their numerical disadvantage saw his depleted and experimental side – without West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus and Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, among others – battle bravely and push hard for an equaliser.

Bournemouth’s Antoine Semenyo wasted several chances before substitute Lookman rifled in a late second for Nigeria to continue his fine run of form at the international level.

Spirited Ghana did get a goal that their efforts deserved late into second-half stoppage time when Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew sent Stanley Nwabali the wrong way from 12 yards after a clumsy foul by Bright Osayi-Samuel on Semenyo.

Brilliant Nwabali held a last-gasp effort from range from Semenyo to secure a morale-boosting win for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles will play a second friendly against the Les Aigles of Mali at the same venue on Tuesday night as preparations continue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying in June.