Nigeria failed to qualify for a seventh World Cup after it played 1: 1 draw with west African archrival Ghana.
The Black Stars of Ghana held the three-time African champions to a goalless draw in Kumasi on Friday March 25, as their away goal in Abuja meant they advanced to Qatar.
The Ghanaian took the lead through Arsenal’s man Thomas Partey in the 10th minute. Nigeria drew level shortly after, after the video assistant referee (VAR) awarded a penalty in the 19th minute after Ademola Lookman was brought down by Dennis Odoi.
Super Eagles Captain William Troost-Ekong stepped up to make it 1-1 sending the Ghanaian goalkeeper the wrong way. Fans watched on at different viewing centers hoping desperately for a second goal which never came.
Adedeji Akande is social media executive he says “Starting from the first leg of this match, the Nigerian super eagles have not been so that impressive with the way they played”. He added “When you look at the first half at some point, they were trying to catch up but then it is still very disappointing”.
Michael Owobamirin, an audio production expert, blamed wrong substitution for the team’s performance. He says “I think the coach made a mistake by not substituting some players on time, because some players were tired and were not giving their best in the game”. “I think he brought the wrong players during the game”.
He also bemoaned the inability of the Super Eagles to turn all their possession into at least an additional goal to seal off the game. “**It was so sad we could not win and qualify for the world cup, all we just needed to do was to score two goals, in fact one more goal. **We had 45 minutes to do that but we could not do it, he says."
As the game went on the much-needed goal never came, this led to the Black Stars qualification on the away goal rule. Nigeria has failed to qualify for the world cup for the second time, the first time was for the 2006 FIFA world cup in Germany which was won by the Italian national team popularly called the Azzurri. The Super Eagle’s failure to book a place in Qatar 2022 was a shock disappointment for football fans.
Musa Ibrahim who is an assistant manager, Upscale Quarters in Lagos summed up his disappointment: “I feel very disappointed that we did not qualify for the world cup 2022 in Qatar, I feel very saddened.”
A Super Eagles fan Lawson Ebeh questioned the player’s lack of commitment “I am so disappointed with the way the super eagles of Nigeria played in Abuja, they did not give their best. They were just slow, Osimhen was the only player that gave his all."
Ebeh stated that “Now we are not going to the world, how will I watch the world cup without Nigeria being represented, it is of no use, I am so disheartened about the result of the match”.
Ghana along with Cameroon, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia will be African representatives in Qatar.
The West Africans will make their fourth appearance on the World Cup stage, a first since 2014 while the Super Eagles will have to wait for their seventh appearance perhaps in 2026 when the world cup will be hosted by Canada; Mexico and the United States.