Nigeria started on a bright note pushing the game to the Black Stars, Yusif Salisu’s side were the better side after 3 minutes of play.
Ghana was forced to make an early substitution after skipper Isaac Twum suffered an injury and was replaced by Ahmed Adams in the 6th minute.
Nigeria who needed a victory kept the pressure on the Ghanaians. Amos Frimpong’s excellent cross into the Nigeria box was timely dealt by defender Stephen Eze who cleared the ball out of the danger zone in the 10th minute.
Defender Vincent Atinga rescued Ghana when he cleared Lawrence Okpotu’s ball which was heading into the net in 12th minute.
Goalkeeper Joseph Addo made two point blank saves by denying Stephen Eze and Sunday who had their efforts on target.
Vincent Atinga’s excellent work at the back kept Ghana in the game as the Hearts of Oak defender checked his markers with his timely tackles and interventions.
Ghana struggled to find an antidote to the persistent pressure from Nigeria who looked very purposeful upfront.
Felix Addo failed to take advantage of a through ball with only the goalkeeper to beat in the 28th minute as the Elmina Sharks attacker laidback to allow Nigeria defender Stephen Eze to intercept the ball to corner. A corner kick which was followed up with a header from Samuel Sarfo got cleared by the Nigeria backline.
The Black Stars continued to play within themselves and gradually came into the fray. Emmanuel Lomotey’s right-footed effort went flying over the bar in the 44th minute after a poor free kick by Winful Cobbinah.
Coach Maxwell Konadu introduced winger Patrick Razak who came on to replace Emmanuel Ampiah just after recess.
Razak’s made an immediate impact as he was denied a penalty after a hash challenge from Nigeria goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
Nigeria finally got the match-needed goal by scoring in the 53rd minute after getting his way past Ghana defender Vincent Atinga to beat Joseph Addo in post.
Moses Neji got Nigeria second well a fantastic strike 3 minutes later having received a pass from the right. Kevin Andoh replaced injured Gideon Waja in the 61st minute. Ghana would be denied a goal after Winfred Cobbinah’s strike was deflected to corner.
Nigeria looked not content with their two-goal lead as they kept the pushed forward to kill the game by getting a possible third goal.
Patrick Razak could not get a consolation for the Black Stars as his effort in the 78th minute went flying over the bar.
Substitute Gabriel Okechucku who came on to replace first goal scorer Anthony Okpotu could not get a third goal for his side following an intervention from Ahmed Adams.
Nigeria Coach Yusif Salisu brought on Mathias Samuel to replace John Samuel in an attempt to stabilize the midfield.
Frustration however set in for Ghana who looked wasteful upfront in the latter stages of the game.
Kevin Andoh’s right-footed squared his way through and took a good strike which narrowly missed the post in the 93rd minute.
The win kept Nigeria in the competition after Guinea and Mali drew 1-1 in the other Group game.
By Frank Darkwah