AYC preview: Battle of the rivals : Ghana vs Nigeria

The rivalry of Ghana and Nigeria will be renewed on Wednesday when the two sides meet in the semifinals of the 2015 Africa Youth Championships (AYC) in Senegal.

Matches between the two sides have always produced a sparkle – a final before a final.

The rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria is at all age groups. It is spanning almost six decades and will come to the fore again as Sellas Tetteh leads his Black Satellites against Garba Manu’s Flying Eagles in what is surely a match of fire power.

The Black Satellites started their tournament campaign on a bright note with a 2-0 win over South Africa and a 2-1 win over Zambia, but succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in their final Group B game against Mali. Sellas Tetteh’s boys looked second best to Mali, and struggled to make any meaningful efforts to get themselves level pegging against a physical Mali side. 

Nigeria finished their group stages with two wins and a draw. The Flying Eagles have been very strong in the competition, and will look to revenge the 1999 AYC home defeat at the hands of the Black Satellites. 

With both sides meeting in warm up games for the championship in Accra as part of preparation for the tournament, the two sides know each other very well. Nigeria who won the two-legged friendly, will want to get the better of their neighbor once more.

Nigeria are a happy scoring side with nine goals in the group stages, but they are vulnerable at the back, too. They’ve conceded four goals.

And Ghana who were brilliant in their first game have not been convincing in the last two, scored four goals and conceded two.

Though both sides have already qualified for the World Cup in New Zealand in may 2015, they have their eyes on the gold medal ahead them and will do all they can to lift the trophy on Sunday. 

In the other semi final game, host Senegal will entertain Mali who finished top of Group B. 

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