The Black Galaxies of Ghana defeated Nigeria by a score of 5-4 in the penalty shootouts to clinch qualification for the CHAN in Algeria in 2023.
Despite the opponents’ best attempts, the Black Galaxies managed to keep Nigeria at bay for the opening 45 minutes of the second leg match at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
With around 20 minutes remaining in the game, the Nigerians finally scored after a number of failed tries.
The Nigerians scored the crucial equalizer at the stroke of 90 minutes, but the Black Galaxies were able to cling onto their 2-0 lead in the first half thanks to defensive improvements.
With the game’s final opportunity, Ghana conceded a throw-in to Nigeria in their half. After the majority of Nigeria’s supporters had given up and left the stadium, the ball was pushed deep into Ghana’s box, and striker Chijoke Nnamdi Akuneto scored to keep Nigeria’s hopes alive.
Without any more time, the game went straight to penalty shootouts.
Both sides succeeded in scoring their first two kicks, but Nigeria missed its third attempt but succeeded in scoring its final two, allowing the Black Galaxies to advance after scoring all five kicks.
For the first time since South Africa in 2014, Ghana would take part in the CHAN competition at this time.
Following a 2-0 loss to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the opening round of the 2009 tournament in Cote D’Ivoire, The Black Galaxies achieved a historic final appearance.
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.