Down the memory lane: Some games between Ghana and Nigeria ahead of WAFU Cup clash

Published on: 13 September 2017

The long standing rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana, has considerably increased the stake for the WAFU Cup of Nations.

There has been so many clashes between the two sides in qualifiers and Africa Cup as well as friendly games in recent time.


It is 66 years now that Nigeria and Ghana first clashed in a football match at national team level, with the Nigerians running away 5-0 winners over then Gold Coast in a Jalco Cup match in Lagos on Oct. 20, 1951.

Incidentally, the WAFU Cup fixtures have lined up opposition for Nigeria as it was in the beginning.

The first-ever match by a team assembled as Nigeria national team was against a Sierra Leonean national team, and it ended 2-0 in favour of Nigeria in Freetown on Oct. 8, 1949.

The clash with Ghana in October 1951 was Nigeria’s second-ever international.

On Monday, both countries will lock horns with their very best.

In the early days of the rivalry, Nigeria won more matches in the Jalco Cup.

But, Ghana had the upper hand in the Nkrumah Cup and Zik Cup encounters that followed, both trophies named after major pan-African figures Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

Among the most memorable encounters between Nigeria and Ghana in those 66 years were a 2-2 draw in a 1962 World Cup qualifying match in Lagos in September 1960 (Ghana had won the first leg 4-1 in Accra).

A 2-2 draw in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Accra in April 1961 (the first leg in Lagos ended 0-0); a 2-1 win for Nigeria in a 1970 World Cup qualifier in Ibadan in May 1969 (the return in Accra ended 1-1).

A 4-2 win for Nigeria in the 2nd All-Africa Games football tournament opener in Lagos in January 1973; a 3-2 win for Ghana in a World Cup qualifier in Lagos in February 1973 (match was abandoned and later awarded 2-0 to Ghana).

A 1-1 draw in a 1978 Africa Cup of Nations match in Accra: a 2-1 win for Nigeria in a 1984 Olympics qualifier in Accra in October 1983; a 2-1 win for Nigeria in a 1984 Cup of Nations match in Bouake.

Also, a 1-0 win for Ghana in a 1992 Cup of Nations qualifier in Accra in September 1990 and; a 3-0 win for Nigeria in a 2002 World Cup qualifier in Port Harcourt in July 2001 that saw Nigeria to the Korea/Japan finals.