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World Cup 2022 play-off draw: Rivalry renewed as Nigeria to face Ghana

16:17 IST 22/01/2022
Thomas Partey Ghana
The Black Stars must negotiate their way past the three-time African champions if they are to qualify for the global football showpiece

Nigeria have landed Ghana in the 2022 Fifa World Cup play-off draw while Algeria will face Cameroon.

The draw held on Saturday in Douala was steered by the Confederation of African Football director of competitions Samson Adamu while Senegal football great El Hadji Diouf and former Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor assisted.

During the ceremony, the 10 group winners from the second round were drawn into five home-and-away ties.

For Augustine Eguavoen’s men – who will be hoping to qualify for the global football showpiece for the seventh time – they must negotiate their way past their eternal rivals, Black Stars.

En route to qualifying for the 2002 edition co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, Nigeria and Ghana were pooled in Group B of the final round that had Liberia, Sudan and Sierra Leone.

The first leg staged at the Accra Sports Stadium ended 0-0, while the Super Eagles – handled by the late Amodu Shaibu triumphed 3-0 in the reverse fixture.

A first-half brace from Tijani Babangida plus a strike from Victor Agali at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt propelled Nigeria past the Ghanaians who finished fourth on the log.

Still fresh from their disappointing Africa Cup of Nations ouster, Ghana would be aiming to appease their fans by earning a fourth World Cup appearance.

The Black Stars host the first leg between March 24-29, 2022 while the Teslim Balogun Stadium will stage the second leg in the same month.

In another thrilling pairing, seven-time African champions Egypt will square up against Aliou Cisse’s Lions of Teranga.

Elsewhere, Afcon 2021 hosts Cameroon must take on Algeria if they are to reach the World Cup for an African record eighth time.

Djamel Belmadi’s Desert Warriors – who were sent packing from the group stage of the ongoing biennial African showpiece – failed to qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

Mali are craving to make their debut appearance at the quadrennial football fiesta, but they will have to subdue Tunisia to achieve their mission.

Lastly, DR Congo have been drawn against Morocco to complete the five play-off fixtures. The winners over two legs will represent Africa in Qatar scheduled to be held between 21 November – 18 December 2022.