Thomas Partey scored the goal that sent Ghana to the 2022 FIFA World Cup© Twitter/kemfa22
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey scored the goal that took Ghana to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as they forced a 1-1 draw in Nigeria on Tuesday to win the African play-off on away goals. Partey struck after 10 minutes in Abuja and although another Premier League star, William Troost-Ekong, levelled from a 22nd-minute penalty, Nigeria failed to score again. The first leg ended goalless. The Black Stars of Ghana are back in the World Cup finals after qualifying in 2006, 2010 and 2014, but missing out four years ago.
Defeat was a massive blow for favourites Nigeria, who were chasing a seventh appearance in eight attempts since debuting at the 1994 World Cup.
Public servants in the Nigerian capital were given a half-day and free transport was arranged from the suburbs to ensure a capacity 60,000 crowd cheered on the Super Eagles.
Watch: Thomas Partey goal vs Nigeria
Thomas Partey sneaks one under the keeper! Black Stars have a goal in Abuja ????????
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2022
But the home team fell behind early on when Partey’s shot from outside the box slipped between the hands of goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and into the net.
It was the latest in a series of blunders by Nigerian goalkeepers with Maduka Okoyo blamed for the Tunisian goal that knocked his team out of the recent Africa Cup of Nations at the last-16 stage.
Troost-Ekong was the calmest person in the cauldron of noise midway through the opening half as he sent Ghana goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott the wrong way from the penalty spot to equalise.
Napoli forward Victor Osimhen had the ball in the net for Nigeria soon after, but it was ruled offside after a VAR check.
Nigeria applied constant second-half pressure, but could not break down a Ghana defence marshalled by Leicester City centre-back Daniel Amartey.
Ghana started the two-leg tie as underdogs after a dismal showing at the Cup of Nations in January, with a loss to minnows the Comoros condemning them to a humiliating first-round exit.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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