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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Nigeria condemned to win at home against Ghana – Ighalo

11:46 GMT+3 28/03/2022
Odion Jude Ighalo of Nigeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations 3rd.
The 32-year-old discusses the importance of their second meeting against the Black Stars and sends a message to the fans

Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has discussed how they have no choice but to beat Ghana in the reverse fixture of the 2022 World Cup qualification playoff on Tuesday.

After managing a 0-0 draw in the first meeting at Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Friday, the Super Eagles will face the Black Stars at Abiola National Stadium Abuja seeking a win to qualify for the tournament's finals to be staged in Qatar.

Ighalo, who is making a return to the team after rescinding his earlier decision to retire, has explained the importance of using home ground advantage and also called on the fans to turn out in large numbers and cheer them to victory.

“We know we are condemned to win at home and if we want to go to the World Cup we have to win,” the former Manchester United striker told reporters as quoted by

"We know it is going to be a difficult game, it's going to be a tough one but the boys are ready to go.”

On his message to the fans, Ighalo, who currently plays for Saudi club Al Hilal, said: “We just call on the fans to come out in numbers to cheer us on Tuesday; we are looking forward to them because they are our 12th man.

“Without them, it's going to be impossible so we want them to come out in numbers, support us and cheer us to victory. By God's grace, we are going to win the game.”

His sentiments come just a day after strike partner Victor Osimhen described the reverse fixture as more than a football game.

“Ghana is a great team and we will never underrate the team just as we've been doing, we saw the upset the Central African Republic gave to us,” Osimhen, who turns out for Italy giants Napoli said.

“For me, I would do my best, but it's not just about me, we have some inspirational players in the team like Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo, Kenneth Omeruo, and other great players. With the help of their experience, we'll be able to actualize this dream.

“We know the importance of the game to us, our families, careers, and the entire nation. This game is more than just football and we will give our best and also try to make sure we have the upper hand.”

Out of the 57 games played between Nigeria and Ghana - the Black Stars have managed 25 wins while the Super Eagles have 12 wins.