Aside from the trophy and bragging rights at stake, the winner of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations is guaranteed a handsome reward of $100,000.
For players plying their trade on the domestic scene, it is enough motivation for them to go all out as Ghana and Nigeria rekindle their long rivalry in football.
Ghana and Nigeria have met in 49 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Black Stars have claimed 19 wins – compared to 11 for the Super Eagles – and outscored their opponents 72 goals to 44 in the process.
It is expected that the Super Eagles will be seeking to improve on that record as they go head-on with Ghana, the hosts and defending WAFU champions.
Ghana and Nigeria have already met once in this WAFU tournament: the Super Eagles beat the Black Stars 2-0 in the teams’ final Group A match on Monday, though it must be noted that the home side had already guaranteed themselves top spot regardless of the result.
Ghana coach Maxwell Konadu insists that his side is more than capable of claiming revenge against the Super Eagles when the teams meet again in the final.
“We will be very prepared for Nigeria. They beat us last time so we have to come out strong to turn the table against them come Sunday,” he said at the post-match conference.
“They are a very good side, but we have to fight very hard.
“You know we are the defending champions, but that now belongs to history. Sunday will be a new chapter we have to open and we will do so by trying to beat Nigeria.
“The last time (we met), we had issues as regards injuries, but I hope we have all the players fit on Sunday and we will come very, very strong against Nigeria.
“It won’t be an easy game, they won’t find it easy as well.”
Despite the hard talks coming from the Ghana camp, Nigeria’s Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, is not perturbed:
He said: “We know what they will be up to and what they will be ready to give to take the trophy. We are more than ready to confront them and give them more than they expect.
“The Super Eagles have become used to winning, from winning the CHAN ticket to conquering Sierra Leone and even Ghana here to reach the final, and we cannot stop now. We want that winning mentality to remain all the way to the CHAN finals early next year.”
Top personalities like the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick; Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Genort Rohr; among others have all confirmed that they will be at Cape Coast Stadium see the Ghana, Nigeria final.
Ghana v Nigeria, head-to-head
Matches played 49
Ghana wins 19
Nigeria wins 11
Ghana goals 72
Nigeria goals 44