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Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey captains Ghana to reach fourth World Cup

The Arsenal midfielder rose to the occasion to score the country's crucial opening goal at the Moshood Abiola

Thomas Partey has led Ghana to a fourth World Cup appearance after remarkable 1-1 draw at Nigeria ensured passage to Qatar later in the year.

The Arsenal midfielder rose to the occasion to score the country’s crucial opening goal at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

Thomas Partey’s early strike was cancelled by Watford’s William Trost-Ekong from the spot.

Just four minutes into the game, the Black Stars broke on the right after Fatawu Issahaku raced all the way only for his pass to Afena-Gyan to be intercepted.

Thomas Partey then broke the deadlock with a thunderous strike which Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho failed to keep out. Jordan Ayew quickly released a pass to Gideon Mensah who rolled it to Partey for the opener.

Nigeria nearly leveled a minute later after Victor Osimhen received the ball on the other side, only for his effort to go wide.

The Nigerians started flooding the box of Ghana with numbers and on one such occasion, Ademola Lookman got fouled in the box with the referee consulting the VAR to award a penalty. Captain William Trost-Ekong elected himself for the spot kick which he slotted home for the leveler.

The Super Eagles continued to dominate and thought they had taken the lead in the 33rd but VAR ruled Osimhen’s goal as offside after a long consultation.

Jojo Wollacot made a great save at the stroke of half time to keep the score at 1-1 before the break.

After the break, coach Otto Addo made a triple substitution taking of Fatawu Issahaku, Jordan Ayew and Baba Iddrisu for Elisha Owusu, Daniel Kyereh and Andy Yiadom.

Nigeria came close a couple of times, with Eguaveon making attacking changes.

However, a strong defensive display from Alexander Djiku and Daniel Amartey kept Osimhen and his charges at bay.

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