Ghana beat Nigeria to the qualifying ticket for the Mundial, and the Fatih Karagumruk forward has shed some light on what happened after that encounter
Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa has confessed the personal burden he carried after Ghana edged Nigeria to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in March.
The Nigerians faced their eternal rivals in the final qualifying round for the Mundial over two legs. But after forcing a decent 0-0 draw in Kumasi, the Eagles could only manage a 1-1 draw in Abuja, allowing Ghana to make it to the World Cup on the away goal rule.
Having represented Nigeria at the 2014 and 2018 editions, Qatar 2022 would have been Musa’s third appearance at football’s biggest fiesta.
And the Fatih Karagumruk forward has expressed his disappointment in missing out on participating in November’s event.
“It was a very big disappointment for me because the World Cup is one of the best tournaments that as a player you want to go there,” the former Leicester City winger told Arise TV.
“I’ve been to the World Cup twice and this one, I won’t be there; it’s a painful thing for me. That game against Ghana, I keep on imagining it till now. But in football, you have to get a sad day like that.”
Musa is Nigeria’s highest goalscorer at the World Cup, but he will not have the chance to add to his four goals in Qatar.
It is no surprise that the ex-CSKA Moscow star felt a lot of pain after the second leg against Ghana.
“At the end of that game, I spent more than three days without eating. Even my wife was worried,” Musa said.
“The young players still have a lot of time. But I thought that would be my last World Cup. I can’t say anything more because that’s what God decided is going to happen.”
Ranked higher than Ghana by FIFA, Nigeria were favourites to pick the World Cup ticket over the Black Stars.
And when the game’s outcome went against expectations, many Nigerian fans attacked the pitch, destroying parts of the facility while putting players at risk.
And Musa has revealed that the players could not leave the dressing room for several hours during that commotion.
The former Kano Pillars ace, however, admits that the Super Eagles deserved the treatment as they are to blame for the World Cup miss.
“After the (Ghana) game, we the players were in the dressing room for three hours. We could not go out because of the fans. Everybody was angry about the result.
“That stadium was at its best that day. NFF did their best. We stayed in one of the best hotels in Abuja.
“It’s just the luck that we didn’t have that day. So we don’t have to blame anyone. We, the players, have to take the blame.”
FIFA sanctioned Nigeria for the crowd trouble.