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African Nations Championship

Chan 2023 Qualifiers: Walker insists Ghana hold no advantage over Nigeria

12:49 BST 03/09/2022
Ghana fans
The tactician has played down the idea that his side are in pole position to pick a ticket for Algeria 2023

Coach Annor Walker has disregarded claims Ghana’s first leg victory has handed them an advantage against Nigeria ahead of Saturday’s fixture.

Goals from Daniel Barnieh and Seidu Suraj gave the Black Galaxies a comfortable African Nations Championship second round first leg qualification victory over the Super Eagles at the Cape Coast Stadium.

But while the Ghanaians have the luxury of taking a two-goal lead to the MKO Abiola Stadium, Walker stressed the nature of their rivalry negates any advantage.

“As a team, we have discussed the game and mapped up a strategy for Saturday’s game,” he told the Ghana FA website.

“We don’t feel we have any advantage over them and winning Saturday’s match is more important to us that the one we played in Cape Coast.

“After the game on Sunday, we went to intensify our preparations for the return leg.

“We also played a training match against King Faisal to correct the mistakes we identified in the first leg.”

Ghana will be missing the services of Vincent Atingah and Michael Ampadu due to contrasting injury worries, nevertheless, Walke is upbeat about his team’s chances of edging Nigeria to a place in Algeria 2023.

He added: “We had to leave Vincent Atingah and Ampadu in Ghana because of injuries.

“Atingah suffered a knock in the training match against King Faisal while Ampadu was left due to a groin injury.

“We are here to win and that is the mentality we have. Am assuring Ghanaians that we will emerge victorious at the end of the day.”

Meanwhile, Ghana had a feel of the Abuja Stadium on Friday evening – the venue where the country’s A team beat Augustine Eguavoen’s Nigeria to the 2022 Fifa World Cup ticket.

The Super Eagles' best performance remains a runners-up finish achieved at Morocco 2018. There, they bowed 4-0 to the Atlas Lions with Zakaria Hadraf bagging a brace at Stade Mohamed V. Casablanca.

For the Galaxies, they finished second in the maiden edition of the tournament, losing 2-0 to DR Congo inside Abidjan’s Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny.

In South Africa 2014, the West Africans qualified for their second final. Again, they missed out on the winners’ medal following a 4-3 defeat on penalties to Libya.