Chris Hughton’s Ghana reach the World Cup finals while a draw in Nigeria sparks post-match violence

Violence erupted in Abuja, Nigeria last night as hosts Ghana – now led by former Ireland international Chris Hughton – were denied a spot at the 2022 World Cup.

homas Partey’s early goal from a goalkeeping error helped Ghana to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday, becoming the first African club to secure a place at the World Cup in Qatar.

Ghana advance to the finals on away goals after Friday’s first leg ended goalless and will take part in their fourth World Cup after appearing three times in a row between 2006 and 2014.

After the game, the police fired tear gas at some fans who entered the field and tried to get into the tunnel leading to the dressing rooms.


Ghana’s soccer players run off the pitch after being attacked at the end of the Qatar World Cup 2022 qualifying playoff second leg at Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria

The visitors took the lead after 10 minutes at Moshood Abiola National Stadium when Partey’s speculative shot from outside the box went under home goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who should have repelled a comfortable save.

Stronger Nigeria equalized with a penalty when Denis Odoi smashed into Ademola Lookman in the box and William Troost-Ekong’s thunderous penalty landed in the top corner, but they couldn’t find the winner they needed.

Nigeria had qualified for six of the previous seven World Cups hosted in the United States in 1994 and their absence from this year’s tournament will spark an investigation by the country’s football authorities.


Chris Hughton has recently joined Ghana as Technical Director

But for Ghana and his newly appointed technical adviser Hughton, it’s a major triumph in a qualifying campaign in which they never really impressed and were but a shadow of the team that reached the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.

They defended for most of the 90 minutes in Abuja and seldom looked threatening after scoring, but rarely felt alarmed even by a Nigerian side who didn’t threaten to attack.

Nigeria thought they had a second when Victor Osimhen scored but the VAR correctly ruled he was flagged for offside in the build-up.


Police use tear gas to chase down intruders on the pitch at the end of the 2022 World Cup qualifying playoffs in Ghana and Nigeria

Emmanuel Dennis headed the home side wide in the second half and Osimhen headed an overhead kick wide of the post, but the closing stages were largely comfortable for Ghana as they captured the dismay of most of the 60,000 fans in Abuja. Chris Hughton’s Ghana reach the World Cup finals while a draw in Nigeria sparks post-match violence

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