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19.11.2007 Sports News

Meteors’ Hope Left Hanging

By Daily Guide
Meteors’ Hope Left Hanging

Ghana failed to wrap up qualification for next year's Olympic Games after being forced to settle for a goalless draw at home by Nigeria on Friday.

An uninspiring performance and wastefulness by Ghana's attacking players simply denied the Black Meteors one of Africa's three slots from Group A.

A strong attacking line-up by Ghana's bench could not secure the three points after they hit the side post once, missed numerous goal-scoring opportunities within regulation time and rather handed the Nigerians a chance to stake a claim for the group's sole ticket.

Prince Tagoe and Asamoah Gyan could have put Ghana in the driving seat but both missed target.

Nigeria's major threat in the first half was through Obinna Nsofor, and a shot that cannoned off the crossbar by Isaac Okonronkwo.
In the 38th minute, Tagoe hit the side post after he was set up by Emmanuel Boakye from the right side.

Then Ghana's best chance on the afternoon fell to Nafiu Iddrisu but the Asec Mimosa striker from 6 yards out saw his first time effort blocked by the Nigerian goalkeeper, Ambrose Vazenki. Nafiu's second effort to the rebound was again wasted.

The first half ended goalless, with Ghana having let their opponents off the hook.

Back from recess, Ghana was threatened after Isaac Vorsah gave the ball away, but the Nigerians failed to seize that opportunity.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Tagoe missed a close header to put Ghana in the lead and four minutes later he was again guilty when he failed to connect an over-head kick from close range.
Ghana picked up two bookings with Isaac Vorsah and Emmanuel Boakye, the guilty parties.

The trend of play did not change as Ghana pushed for the opener while the Nigerians relied on the counter-attack.

Ghana's bench ringed the changes with Nafiu Iddrisu, Emmanuel Boakye and Bernard Kumordzi going off for Kwadwo Asamoah, Dan Addo and Obed Ansah.

More pressure was mounted but Ghana's poor finishing continued till the end of regulation time, as the Nigerians jubilated for picking a point.

Ghana's hopes now cling on the final group game between Nigeria and South Africa in March.

Despite the poor showing, Ghana still sits at the top of standings with seven points, with Nigeria perched at second with five points, though they have a game to spare against the group's whipping boys, South Africa, who are bottom with just a point on the table of the three-team group. Ghanafa