- The highly anticipated match between Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau ended in a stunning upset as the Wild Dogs secured a historic 0-1 victory at the MKO Abiola Stadium in matchday 4 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
Nigeria, who are three-time African champions, failed to live up to expectations despite having a star-studded attacking lineup that included Napoli's Victor Osimhen, Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, and Ademola Lookman, all of whom had accounted for over fifty club goals in Europe during the 2022/2023 season.
Although the Super Eagles dominated possession in the match's early stages, Guinea-Bissau's Mama Balde struck a crucial goal just before the half-hour mark to silence the home crowd and shock the Nigerian team. At halftime, Nigeria's coach, Jose Peseiro, brought on Nantes' Moses Simon and Southampton's Paul Onuachu, hoping to salvage the match.
The second half saw Nigeria creating several chances, but their finishing let them down. Simon missed from the penalty spot after being set up by Chukwueze, while Onuachu wasted several headers that could have made the difference. Osimhen also had a couple of close-range shots that failed to find the back of the net. Chukwueze was unlucky not to score after weaving past two markers but blasting wide, and Ndidi missed a glorious chance to score by passing the ball instead of taking a low shot.
Despite Nigeria's late flurry of attacks, Guinea-Bissau held on for a famous win, securing one of the biggest victories in the nation's history. With the win, the Wild Dogs moved to the top of Group A with seven points, overtaking Nigeria.
The two teams will face off again on Monday in the return leg in Bissau, where the Super Eagles will be looking to redeem themselves after a disappointing defeat.