Nigeria took the lead through Yakubu on 34 minutes from the penalty spot after Anthony Annan had fouled Ike Uche in the area, but Michael Essien equalized with a header on the stroke of halftime.
Ghana lost captain John Mensah to a red card on the hour mark and it seemed certain the Nigerians would go on to win. But Junior Agogo netted the winner eight minutes from time to send the home fans into delirium.
1 mins: And we’re off!
6 mins: Crunching start! Nwaneri fouls Muntari after just seven seconds and the two square off. Nwaneri looks as though he pushed his head into the face of Muntari. Maybe he is a little lucky to get away with that. Nigeria have perhaps made the brighter start, but haven’t managed to test Kingston yet.
11 mins: Essien has the first shot on goal, but it flies high and wide from 20 yards. The tackles are flying in and Taiwo gets a YELLOW CARD and gives away a free-kick on the edge of the area to the right. Muntari’s curious effort looked neither like a cross nor a shot and goes harmlessly into the side-netting.
16 mins: Yakubu has an excellent chance, all of his own making as he spins the defender and scuffs his shot wide from 18 yards. The first real opening of the game. Agogo is bundled over by Obi and Muntari has another crack from the free-kick but it goes straight into the wall. Muntari does brilliantly to win the ball on the left and deliver a low cross that Yobo puts behind for a corner.
21 mins: Ejide looks a bit suspect coming for crosses and corners and finally injures himself after a collision with his own defender, Shittu. Maybe something the Ghanaians can exploit. Nwaneri also gets a YELLOW CARD for a second bad foul. He can have no complaints. Owusu-Abeyie wastes another corner opportunity for the home side and then shoots over with his left foot.
26 mins: Owusu-Abeyie is really in the game, he collects a back-heel from Gyan and threatens to run through the entire Nigerian defence before he is finally stopped. Ghana are certainly looking the better side, though Yakubu has had the best chance of the game. Gyan hits the post! A brilliant run and shot cannons off the outside of the woodwork with Ejide beaten. And then Agogo runs clear through on goal, but his first touch is terrible and the chance is lost.
31 mins: Annan shoots from distance but it’s easy for Ejide. The referee blows up Yakubu when he seems to get the better of Addo and have a clean run on Kingston, but the referee blows up for a foul. That looked harsh. Uche then has a wonderful chance when he finds acres of space in the centre of the goal, but his shot is weak with the net at his mercy and Kingson saves. That’s two great chances for Nigeria.
34 mins: GOAL! Nigeria get a penalty as Annan is adjudged to have fouled Uche and Yakubu converts! Yakubu should have had a penalty himself seconds earlier as he was clearly hauled to the ground.
39 mins: The crowd seem stunned by the Nigerians taking the lead, but how will the Black Stars react to going behind, especially after having the better of the early play? Essien hits a long-range free-kick wide. It was never troubling the keeper. Yakubu almost steals in after a neat touch from Uche. Danger for Ghana.
44 mins: Agogo almost gets Gyan in, but as the move breaks down, Owusu-Abeyie shoots inches wide of the right post. Having taken the lead, the Super Eagles are now playing possession football. Ghana need to get Essien more into the game. Uche almost feeds Yakubu again, but Mensah puts it behind for the corner. Obi tries his luck from the edge of the area as the ball comes out to him, but it’s a terrible effort. Gyan gets a YELLOW CARD for deliberate handball.
45 mins: GOAL! Essien scores three minutes into injury time! A quick free-kick sees Owusu-Abeyie collect the ball on the left and his cross is met by Essien’s head and the ball goes in off the post. Ejide appeared to leave the ball, thinking it was going wide. It is also the last play of the half.
46 mins: Nigeria get the second half underway.
51 mins: Kingston’s makes a hash of a clearance with his head and Yakubu tries his luck from 40-yards with the goalkeeper out of position. Kingston manages to get back and tip the ball over the bar, however. That would have been some goal. Gyan looks like his injury problems have caught up with him. He is hardly moving at all. Mensah and Addo get in a tangle that almost lets Obi in, but Kingston comes to the rescue again.
56 mins: Odemwingie’s pace gets him onto the ball, but his shot is straight at Kingston. Shittu vs Agogo is turning into a battle of the giants.
61 mins: Muntari is commanding in midfield and his brilliant switch of play and 40-yard ball can’t quite get Gyan in. That would have put the striker clear. Mensah gets a RED CARD for fouling Odemwingie, who was clear on goal. It was a professional foul and the correct decision. The Black Stars will have to play the remainder of the game with 10 men. Taiwo forces a brilliant save from Kingston from the resultant free-kick.
66 mins: The injured Gyan finally succumbs to his groin strain and is replaced by Laryea Kingston. It will be just Agogo up front now.
71 mins: Essien is now playing in the centre of defence. Muntari and Olofinjana both go down with cramp. Ghana can’t afford to lose Muntari as well. And now Etuhu gets cramp as well. It is a steamy evening in Accra. Agogo’s shot is deflected wide for a corner. It comes to naught though.
76 mins: Richard Eromoigbe replaces Etuhu. Kingston crosses but there is nobody in the middle for Ghana. This is there problem now, they just can’t commit to many bodies forward. Muntari plays in Agogo, who gets to the byline, but cannot find a teammate in the middle. Haminu Dramani replaces Owusu-Abeyie. Obi and Annan clash and the latter pokes Obi in the eye as retaliation! The first aid truck then drives into the Super Eagles players. What a bizarre incident! Obi gets a YEELOW CARD after all of that.
81 mins: Dramani does brilliantly but his shot is blocked, as is Muntari on the follow-up. He then sets up Laryea Kingston, who can’t get his shot away. Annan and Obi continue their battle. That one is a red card waiting to happen.
82 mins: GOAL! Agogo scores! Ghana apply the pressure and Muntari crosses for the Nottingham Forest striker to score at the back post. The 10 men of Ghana now lead. Agogo gets a YELLOW CARD for taking his shirt off in celebration.
88 mins: Obinna Nsofor replaces Obi. Laryear Kingston blasts over from the edge of the area. Nigeria need to push forward in search of the equalizer and in doing so will leave themselves exposed at the back.
FULLTIME: Yobo has a great final chance to equalize but misses his shot from four yards and that’s it, against the odds Ghana have won, having to come from behind and playing the final 30 minutes with only 10 men. Nigeria will be wondering how they lost this one, they perhaps needed to be a little more positive when it was 1-1.
Ghana 2 (Essien 45 Junior Agogo 82)
Nigeria 1 (Yakubu 34pen)
Red card: John Mensah
Yellow cards: Asamoah Gyan, Junior Agogo; Taye Taiwo, Obinna Nwaneri, John Mikel Obi
Ghana: 22 Richard Kingson, 2 Hans Sarpei, 5 John Mensah, 4 John Painstil, 18 Eric Addo, 11 Sulley Muntari, 8 Michael Essien, 6 Anthony Annan, 3 Asamoah Gyan (Laryea Kingston 62), 9 Junior Agogo, 20 Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Haminu Dramani 74)
Nigeria: 12 Austin Ejide, 2 Joseph Yobo, 3 Taye Taiwoo, 15 Ike Uche, 6 Danny Shittu, 11 Peter Odemwingie, 8 Yakubu Aiyegbeni, 16 Dickson Etuhu (Richard Eromoigbe 71), 10 John Mikel Obi (Obinna Nsofor 85), 14 Seyi Olofinjana, 5 Obinna Nwaneri