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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Ghana's Afena-Gyan earns Tagoe's backing vs Nigeria

20:39 BST 28/03/2022
Afena-Gyan Roma
The 19-year-old Roma striker’s quality has been highlighted ahead of the Qatar 2022 decider in Abuja

Former Ghana forward Prince Tagoe believes Roma youngster Felix Afena-Gyan has what it takes to hurt Nigeria and fire the Black Stars to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The two nations are set to rekindle their rivalry for the second time in five days as they face off in a final qualifying round second leg fixture in the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

The first leg fixture at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi ended in a 0-0 draw, leaving everything to play for on Tuesday.

“Afena-Gyan’s movement and pace upfront show that he is a proper striker. We didn’t take a striker to the last Afcon and it was a problem,” Tagoe told Connect FM on 19-year-old Afena-Gyan, who made his Ghana debut in Friday’s fixture.

“But Afena is a proper striker just like me and Asamoah Gyan.

“Looking at how they [Nigeria] drew with us, nothing shows that we wouldn’t be able to beat them in the return leg.

“We now have an advantage because of the away goal rule. We only need to score a goal there.”

Tagoe played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, alongside Asamoah Gyan, who has gone on to become Ghana’s all-time top scorer and most-capped player.

While Afena-Gyan won a lot of admiration for his performance on Friday, Crystal Palace ace Jordan Ayew suffered a different fate, coming under fire for a supposed underwhelming display.

Unlike the popular opinion, former Ghana international Abukari Damba offered a slightly different take on the 30-year-old.

He told Joy FM: “Jordan Ayew is a very good player… it’s all about how he is deployed on the pitch.

“Jordan is a player who covers a lot of ground on the pitch.

“We need to map out a strategy on how to get the ball in the back of the net. Goal scoring is the problem not just strikers.”

The winners of Tuesday’s clash in Abuja join four other nations to represent Africa at the World Cup, which runs from November 21 to December 18 later this year.