Nigeria 1-1 Equatorial Guinea: Super Eagles kicks off AFCON 2023 with a disappointing draw

Nigeria 1-1 Equatorial Guinea: Super Eagles kicks off AFCON 2023 with a disappointing draw

Imhonlamhen Eronmhonsele
  • Nigeria forced Equatorial Guinea to a disappointing 1-1 draw to begin their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on a low-key note.
  • Coach Jose Peseiro made some key decisions to hand starting spots to goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali and midfielder Alhassan Yusuf.

However, the Super Eagles still looked far from their best for lengthy periods.

Nigeria were the better team in the opening stages and could have been two up within the first ten minutes.

However, Victor Osimhen fired high from the edge of the box while Zaidu Sanusi fluffed an even better chance from inside the area.

In the 36th minute, Equatorial Guinea grabbed the opening goal against the run of play.

Iban Salvador curled a fantastic effort into goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali's net to finish off an excellent team move.

Nigeria's response was instant, though, as two minutes after falling behind, the Super Eagles got back on levelled terms.

Ademola Lookman found space on the left flank and sent in a cross for Osimhen to glance home for Nigeria's first goal of the tournament.

After the halftime break, Nigeria had enough chances to secure the win, but Ola Aina and Ademola Lookman fluffed fine chances to score.

The best chance of the match, however, fell to Osimhen when the Napoli man went through on goal following a decent Alex Iwobi pass, but the striker fired wide to the amazement of teammates and fans.

The Super Eagles could not find the winner despite the introduction of Paul Onuachu and Samuel Chukwueze and eventually settled for a draw with the National Thunder.

Next on the agenda for Nigeria is a top-draw clash with hosts, Cote d'Ivoire on Thursday, January 18.

Cote d'Ivoire, it will be recalled, won their opening match 2-0 over Guinea-Bissau and not sit atop Group A with three points. 

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