Pre-tournament favourites Nigeria will lock horns with West African counterparts Ghana for a place in the 2014 African Nations Championship final at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Wednesday evening, kick-off at 8:30pm.
Despite not boasting high-profile foreign-based players due to the tournament rules the showdown is still expected to be heated as two of Africa’s representatives in the upcoming World Cup in Brazil battle for a shot at silverware.
The Super Eagles, who are making their tournament debut head into the fixture as favourites after what can be described as a miraculous comeback against Morocco in their quarter-final encounter.
Nigeria trailed the Atlas Lions 3-0 at the break, but bagged four unanswered goals to win 4-3 and subsequently book their place in the final four after extra-time.
Stephen Keshi’s side have been free scoring to say the least, and despite leaking eight goals so far it looks like the current African Cup of Nations champions will simply outscore their opposition.
Gbolahan Salami is racing against time to be fit for the titanic clash with the Black Stars, the striker has a thigh problem.
Right-back Solomon Kwambe, though, is available for selection after serving a one-match ban.
Meanwhile, Ghana may have only scored four goals, eight less then Wednesday nights opponents but the 2009 runners-up have the strongest defence having conceded just a single goal during the duration of the tournament.
“Our attack has been such that we only manage one goal per match, but we have been defending very well. That for me is a sign of a team that is progressing and I don’t think it is a bad thing to defend very well,” said Ghana head coach Maxwell Konadu.
“It is also important to score goals but in cases when you score one goal in a match and manage to defend it, that means you will win.”
Black Stars trio Michael Akuffo, Abeiku Ainooson and Kwabena Adusei who scored the winner against the Democratic Republic of Congo are available for selection while Godfred Saka is also in contention after recovering from a foot injury.
Nigeria will be hoping to bag their first win over Ghana since 2006, when they beat the Black Stars 1-0 in the group stage of the African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The winner will take on either Libya or Zimbabwe in the final in Cape Town on Saturday evening.