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Finidi George off to winning start for Super Eagles to fly past rivals Ghana

Finidi George today won his first game in temporary charge of the Super Eagles as they beat arch-rivals Ghana 2-1 in another instalment of the Jollof Derby.

Cyriel Dessers opened scoring in the 37th minute through a penalty kick after Kelechi Iheanacho’s shot was handled inside the box by a Ghanaian player, before substitute Ademola Lookman made the game safe for Nigeria in the 84th minute.

Lookman’s goal was a superb effort with the lively Alex Iwobi providing the assist.

Ghana pulled a goal back in additional time from the penalty spot through captain Jordan Ayew.

This was after Bright Osayi-Samuel fouled Antoine Semenyo inside the box on his way to goal.

From the 56th minute, Ghana were forced to play a man short after Opoku was sent off.

Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali pulled off a couple of saves particularly in the second half as the Black Stars chased the game.

The Eagles led by Finidi played a decent direct football, while Ghana under new coach Otto Addo maintained their passing game.

Both teams were weakened by the absence of their top stars – Victor Osimhen for Nigeria, while Ghana were without Mohammed Kudus and Thomas Partey.

Finidi caused a huge stir when he dropped 2023 AFCON stars Ademola Lookman and Moses Simon to the bench and started Tanzania-based defender Benjamin Tanimu for his full international debut.

Tanimu acquitted himself fairly, but the pace of the game will force him out late on.

 

On Tuesday, Nigeria will play a second friendly against Mali also at the same Grande Stade de Marrakesh in Morocco.

Super Eagles Starting XI vs Ghana:

Nwabali; Onyemaechi (Collins 85), Tanimu (lookman 79), Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem; Wilfred Ndidi (captain) (Raphael Onyedika 72), Frank Onyeka, Osayi; Alex Iwobi, Iheanacho, Dessers (Moses Simon 72).

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