The Black Galaxies of Ghana beat Nigeria by 5-4 on penalty shootouts to seal qualification for the 2023 Championship of African Nations Cup (CHAN) in Algeria.
The Black Galaxies held Nigeria for the first 45 minutes in the second leg match played at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja despite the efforts created by the opponents.
After several attempts at goal, the Nigerians finally found the back of the net with about 20 minutes to end the game.
The Black Galaxies made adjustments to their defence to be able to hold their 2-0 lead in the first half but the Nigerians got the all-important equalizer at the stroke of 90 minutes.
Nigeria was awarded a throw-in in Ghana’s half with the last chance in the game. The ball was thrown deep into Ghana’s box and striker Chijoke Nnamdi Akuneto scored to keep Nigeria’s hope alive after most of their fans had given up and left the stadium.
The game proceeded straight to penalty shootouts with no extra time.
Both teams managed to score their first two kicks but Nigeria missed their 3rd kick but scored the last two for the Black Galaxies to seal through after successfully scoring all five kicks.
This would be the first time Ghana will play at the CHAN tournament since 2014 in South Africa.
The Black Galaxies made a historic final appearance at the first edition in Cote D’Ivoire 2009 following a 2-0 defeat to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ghana crashed out of the 2011 tournament in Sudan after going three matches without a win at the Group stage with the team’s last appearance coming in 2014 when the Black Galaxies lost 4-3 to Libya on penalties after a nerve-wracking goalless draw in regulation time.