Finidi George: Our objective is to get good results against Ghana and Mali

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Coach Finidi George has told thenff.com that the principal objective of African vice champions Nigeria is to earn good results in the upcoming friendly games against Ghana and Mali’s senior teams, scheduled for the city of Marrakech in Morocco.

 

Looking ahead to Friday’s clash with four-time African champions Ghana, the two-time World Cup star reiterated that the Super Eagles are presently in high station in African football, having finished as runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, and everything must be done to maintain that status and even exceed it.

 

“We finished in second place at the Africa Cup of Nations and everyone expects us to maintain that high rating and be even better in a short while. Our objective is to get good results in these two matches and stay positive ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

 

“They call it friendly matches but there is really nothing friendly when you play, especially Ghana. I have been involved in matches against Ghana since the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal. Matches between our countries are serious duels and always seen as battles by our peoples. The Black Stars did not perform that well at the recent Africa Cup of Nations and they will be keen to banish that memory.”

 

Finidi George won 62 caps for Nigeria, including featuring at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup finals, and won gold, silver and bronze medals from the 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2002 AFCON tournaments. His first AFCON encounter against Ghana was on 23rd January 1992, in a semi-final encounter that the Black Stars won 2-1.

 

Afterwards, the pacy winger was involved when both teams played out a barren draw in a friendly in Lagos in March 1994; a 0-0 draw in Accra in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier; a 3-0 win for Nigeria in Port Harcourt that sent Nigeria through to Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup and; a 1-0 win for Nigeria in an AFCON quarter-final match in Bamako in 2002.

 

“We will be missing four players who have pulled out due to injury but I have confidence in the team that we have here that they will wear the green-white-green with pride and with patriotic fervour.”

 

As of Wednesday morning, only Turkey-based defender Bright Osayi-Samuel was being expected in the Adam Park Hotel of the Eagles in Marrakech, with 21 players having settled in.

 

Ghana will also be led by a renowned former international, Otto Addo, who has just been recalled for a second stint in charge of the Black Stars.

 

Friday’s match will be the 60th encounter between both countries, since a Jalco Cup match on 20th October 1951 ended 5-0 in favour of Nigeria. Twenty of the previous 59 duels have ended in draws, including their last two encounters (2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches) in March 2022.

 

Their last friendly match, in London on 11th October 2011, ended scoreless.

 

NIGERIA, GHANA IN HISTORY

 

20 0ct 1951 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 5 Ghana 0

11 Oct 1953 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

30 Oct 1954 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 0

30 Oct 1955 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 7 Nigeria 0

27 Oct 1956 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 0

27 Oct 1957 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 3 Nigeria 3

25 Oct 1958 (Jalco Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 2

10 Oct 1959 (Olympics Qualifier): Nigeria 3 Ghana 1

26 Oct 1959 (Olympics Qualifier): Ghana 4 Nigeria 1

22 Nov 1959 (Jalco Cup): Ghana 5 Nigeria 2

28 Aug 1960 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 4 Nigeria 1

10 Sep 1960 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 2 Ghana 2

9 Oct 1960 (Nkrumah Cup): Nigeria 0 Ghana 3

29 Oct 1960 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 1 Ghana 1

8 Apr 1961 (AFCON Qualifier): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

30 Apr 1961 (AFCON Qualifier): Ghana 2 Nigeria 2

17 Dec 1961 (Friendly): Ghana 5 Nigeria 1

10 Nov 1962 (Friendly): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

23 Feb 1963 (Nkrumah Cup); Ghana 5 Nigeria 0

30 Oct 1965 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 0 Ghana 4

7 Nov 1965 (Zik Cup): Ghana 3 Nigeria 0

23 Jan 1967 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 2 Ghana 2

12 Feb 1967 (Zik Cup): Ghana 2 Nigeria 0

22 Oct 1967 (Zik Cup): Ghana 2 Nigeria 1

23 Dec 1967 (Zik Cup): Nigeria 2 Ghana 2

10 May 1969 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 2 Ghana 1

18 May 1969 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 1 Nigeria 1

8 Jan 1973 (All-Africa Games): Nigeria 4 Ghana 2

10 Feb 1973 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 2 Ghana 3 – abandoned, match awarded 2-0 to Ghana

25 Feb 1973 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

11 Aug 1974 (Festival): Nigeria 1 Ghana 0

17 Aug 1974 (Festival): Nigeria 0 Ghana 1

24 Aug 1975 (Festival): Ghana 1 Nigeria 2

30 Aug 1975 (Festival): Ghana 3 Nigeria 0

4 Sep 1977 (Ecowas Cup): Nigeria 2 Ghana 1

8 Mar 1978 (AFCON): Ghana 1 Nigeria 1

21 July 1978 (All-Africa Games): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

1 May 1983 (ECA Anniversary): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

15 Oct 1983 (Olympics Qualifier): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

30 Oct 1983 (Olympics Qualifier): Ghana 1 Nigeria 2

5 Mar 1984 (AFCON): Ghana 1 Nigeria 2

27 July 1986 (Friendly): Ghana 2 Nigeria 0

2 Sep 1990 (AFCON Qualifier): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

13 Apr 1991 (AFCON Qualifier): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

23 Jan 1992 (AFCON): Ghana 2 Nigeria 1

9 Mar 1994 (Friendly): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

28 Aug 1999 (Friendly): Nigeria 0 Ghana 0

11 Mar 2001 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

29 July 2001 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 3 Ghana 0

3 Feb 2002 (AFCON): Ghana 0 Nigeria 1

15 Dec 2002 (Friendly): Ghana 0 Nigeria 1

30 May 2003 (LG Cup): Nigeria 3 Ghana 1

23 Jan 2006 (AFCON): Ghana 0 Nigeria 1

6 Feb 2007 (Friendly): Ghana 4 Nigeria 1

3 Feb 2008 (AFCON): Ghana 2 Nigeria 1

28 Jan 2010 (AFCON): Ghana 1 Nigeria 0

11 Oct 2011 (Friendly): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

25 Mar 2022 (WC Qualifier): Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

29 Mar 2022 (WC Qualifier): Nigeria 1 Ghana 1

 

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