The Super Eagles of Nigeria secured their spot in the 2023 AFCON round of 16 as hosts Ivory Coast experienced a significant defeat at the hands of Equatorial Guinea.
The crucial moment for the Super Eagles came when Guinea-Bissau defender Opa Sanganté scored an own goal in the 36th minute during today’s game at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny on January 22, 2024.
Despite opportunities, Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, the African Player of the Year, struggled to assert his dominance in front of the goal, failing to convert several chances in the eighteen-yard box. The Djurtus, aware of their elimination from the tournament, put up a commendable performance, frustrating the Nigerian side and creating goal-scoring opportunities. Both teams saw goals disallowed for offside during the game.
Following a tense 90 minutes, the Super Eagles secured their place in the next round. Meanwhile, at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé, Ivory Coast faced a 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea. Equatorial Guinea, with a 1-1 draw against Nigeria, a 4-2 victory over Guinea-Bissau, and the recent 4-0 win, topped Group A with 7 points in three games, sharing the same point total with the second-placed Super Eagles, who have an inferior goal difference.
As for third-placed Ivory Coast, they must await the conclusion of other group-stage matches to determine if they qualify for the next round as one of the best losers.