World Cup play-off: Nigeria coach Eguavoen eyes ‘positive result’ in Kumasi

Augustine Eguavoen is eyeing a ‘positive result’ when Nigeria trade tackles with Ghana in the first leg of the 2022 World Cup play-off tie on Friday.

Nigeria are slight favourites to win this tie after outperforming Ghana at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

The Super Eagles qualified for the knockout round with a perfect record, defeating Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, and Sudan in their group.

Ghana, on the other hand, were eliminated in the first round. They were defeated by Morocco, drew with Gabon, and suffered a shock defeat to minnows Comoros to finish their campaign with a single point.

“Ghana is a team I personally have always respected. Forget about the performance during the Nations Cup. Nigeria-Ghana any day, in any category, is always a big one. We are rivals, we respect them, we adore them,” Eguavoen told 3Sports.

I’m very sure they respect and adore us as well. We are brothers and sisters. It’s going to be a big clash. It’s going to be very tough but in a friendly way… We are going to remain focused and play our game and try as much as possible to come out with a positive result.”

Nigeria have appeared in six World Cup finals and hope to make it seven, at the expense of Ghana, who have appeared in three.

“In football today, Nigeria is a big football nation. It’s like Brazil, Argentina in South America or England, Holland, Spain, Germany in Europe. And it’s a global tournament coming up right in front of us, and for us not to be part of it is not good enough and it’s unheard off,” he added.

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The game will take place at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi and will begin at 7:30 p.m. local time.

The second leg is scheduled for next week Tuesday in Abuja.

The winner of the tie will be in Qatar for the World Cup finals.