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Nigeria vs Ghana score, result, lineups as Super Eagles win international friendly in Morocco

Africa Cup of Nations runners-up Nigeria claimed a 2-1 friendly victory over Ghana in an international friendly match on Saturday, March 22.

Goals in each half from Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers and Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman were enough to secure victory against the 10-man Black Stars, who had defender Jerome Opoku sent off early in the second period.

The Super Eagles, beaten by the host nation Ivory Coast at the AFCON final in February, were the stronger of the sides for much of the contest in front of a near-empty Stade de Marrakech in Morocco, although the game ended with far more uncertainty than coach Finidi George would have liked after Jordan Ayew converted a stoppage-time penalty.

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Nigeria vs Ghana score

  Fulltime Goalscorers
Nigeria 2 Dessers (p) 38′, Lookman 84′
Ghana 1 J. Ayew (p) 90+5′


Nigeria XI (3-4-3, right to left): 23. Stanley Nwabali (GK) — 6. Semi Ajayi, 21. Chidozie Awaziem, 5. Benjamin Tanimu — 2. Bright Osayi-Samuel, 8. Frank Onyeka, 4. Wilfred Ndidi, 13. Bruno Onyemaechi — 14. Kelechi Iheanacho, 9. Cyriel Dessers, 17. Alex Iwobi

Ghana XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1. Lawrence Ati-Zigi (GK) — 2. Alidu Seidu, 5. Edmund Addo, 19. Jerome Opoku, 17. Patrick Kpozo, — 26. Baba Idrissu, 21. Abdul Samed Salis — 24. Ernest Nuamah, 8. Forson Amankwaa, 9. Jordan Ayew — 25. Antoine Semenyo

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Kelechi Iheanacho drew a good save from Lawrence Ati-Zigi with a powerful half-volley and almost set up an opening goal with a teasing free-kick that caused uncertainty in the Ghana penalty area.

With around seven minutes left of the first half, Dessers gave Nigeria a deserved lead from the spot after Salis Abdul Samed had been penalised for blocking a shot with his arm.

Bournemouth’s Antoine Semenyo ballooned a shot over the bar following a quick break as Ghana started the second half brightly, but any hope of a comeback was diminished when Opoku was shown a straight red card that left the handful of spectators inside the stadium baffled. It seemed unclear whether the defender, on loan from Leicester City at Belgian side OH Leuven, had been dismissed for a raised elbow in an aerial challenge or for saying something to the referee.

Ghana rallied well in their first match under new coach Otto Addo, with substitute Tariq Lamptey coming close with a curling effort from the edge of the box, but the contest was effectively ended in the 84th minute when Lookman powered home a finish from inside the box after good work from the impressive Alex Iwobi.

Yet there were to be a few nervy moments for the Super Eagles at the very end. Ayew confidently scored a penalty of his own in the fifth minute of added time, Nwabali was again called into action in the final seconds to preserve the slender lead.

Nigeria face Mali next Tuesday in another friendly before their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign resumes with a match against South Africa in June. Mali are Ghana’s next opponents in that qualification cycle, with an exhibition against Uganda next up this month.

Nigeria vs Ghana lineups, team news

Nigeria were missing a host of key players for this match with captain William Troost-Ekong ruled out through injury alongside full-back Ola Aina and striker Victor Boniface.

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen was not involved for new head coach Finidi George, but Premier League star Alex Iwobi played a decisive role.

Nigeria XI (3-4-3, right to left): Nwabali (GK) — Ajayi, Awaziem, Tanimu — Osayi-Samuel, Onyeka, Ndidi, Onyemaechi — Iheanacho, Dessers, Iwobi

Nigeria subs: Uzoho, Ojo, Collins, Lookman, Umar, Tella, Dele-Bashiru, Simon,. Yusuf, Onyedika, Bassey, Omeruo

Otto Addo has returned for a second spell in charge of Ghana, following their AFCON exit in January, but the key absentee for the Black Stars remains Arsenal’s Thomas Partey.

Jordan Ayew, Antoine Semenyo and Inaki Willams were all included in the squad by Addo.

Ghana XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Ati-Zigi (GK) — Seidu, Addo, Opuko, Kpozo — Idrissu, Samed Salis — Nuamah, Amankwaa, J. Ayew — Semenyo

Ghana subs: Odoi, Adams, Issahaku, Bukari, Wollacott, Lamptey, Abu, Annan, Nurudeen, Osman, Asare.

Nigeria vs Ghana live stream, TV channel

TV and streaming information on this friendly game is limited ahead of kickoff with betting service BET365 offering a live streaming service. The option is available to all members with a funded account or who have placed an applicable bet in the last 24 hours.

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