Two countries intensely familiar with each other cross swords once more at the semi-final stage of the 2014 CHAN. Who wins?Traditional rivals Ghana and Nigeria contest an all-west African semi-final at the ongoing African Nations Championships on Wednesday in what promises to be a high-octane thriller.
Nigeria's debut at the CHAN has been somewhat underwhelming, although Stephen Keshi's team have won all but one game, namely, a 2-1 loss to Mali in their Group A opener. In front of goal, the Super Eagles have been absolutely prolific, firing in goals at will. Twice at the tournament, Nigeria have put four past their opponents - the latest coming in a rousing comeback from three goals down against Morocco in the quarter-finals stage - and have racked up a total of 12 strikes.
At the other end, though, Nigeria have disappointed, letting in eight goals and giving little promise of improving in that regard.
It is hard to imagine the Black Stars exploiting Nigeria's defensive frailties, however, if the Ghanaians' own attacking deficiencies are anything to go by.
Ghana, in quest of a second appearance in a CHAN finale, has recorded just a goal in each of their four games in South Africa but have been more than impressive in preventing the opposition from scoring, having conceded only once.
Local Black Stars trainer Maxwell Konadu would be eager to have injured stars Godfred Saka, Kwabena Adusei and Sulley Mohammed return to shore up an already well-knit unit.
With each side's fortes and weaknesses almost perfectly balancing the other's, this could prove no ordinary game between these eternally feuding regional cousins. ----------------- goal.com