The Super Eagles of Nigeria will not be at the Qatar 2022 World Cup after a 1-1 draw against Ghana at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja ensured that the Black Stars would secure the World Cup ticket on away goals rule.
Nigeria was held to a goalless draw in the first leg at Kumasi, and they had to win in Abuja if they were going to secure a place in Qatar.
The Super Eagles started the game on top, bossing the possession and pushing the Ghanaians back.
Black Stars coach Otto Addo opted for a relatively conservative approach, looking to hit Nigeria on the counter. Despite the early spell of possession, the intent was still evident, as they had a few runs of their own.
However, the Ghanaians broke the deadlock in the 10th minute, as they capitalised on a mistake from the Super Eagles defence. Thomas Partey received a pass from Gideon Mensah and fired home from outside the box to beat Francis Uzoho, who was in limbo as the ball went under him.
After they went behind, Nigeria upped the ante and began to look more threatening on the attack.
The pressure finally paid off in the 21st minute, as referee Selmi awarded the Super Eagles a penalty after a VAR review revealed that Ademola Lookman was fouled in the box.
Captain Troost-Ekong was on hand to strike from the spot to restore parity.
It looked like Nigeria had completed a comeback after Osimhen put the ball in the net after a brilliant run in the 26th minute. Unfortunately, VAR ruled it out for offside.
Nigeria kept pushing for goals, but the pressure failed to yield substantial results.
The second half saw Eguavoen introduce Shehu Abdullahi for Frank Onyeka after the latter got injured late in the second half.
The Super Eagles kept up the pressure in the second half. Still, even the introduction of Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, and Moses Simon did not change anything.
A few half chances fell to the Super Eagles, but the Ghanaians held their own to see out the 1-1 result.
The victory for Ghana ensures that they would make their fourth World Cup appearance, while Nigeria would have to wait till 2026 before they make their seventh World Cup appearance.