HIGHLIGHTS | Côte d’Ivoire Vs Nigeria #TotalEnergiesAFCON2023|

Nigeria landed a major blow in the race for TotalEnergies CAF AFCON knockout qualification by defeating hosts Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 in Thursday’s titanic Group A clash.

In front of a packed Stade Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, the two African heavyweights served up a pulsating contest. The Ivorian fans were silenced when William Troost-Ekong converted a 54th-minute penalty after Victor Osimhen was fouled.

Despite relentless roars of support, the Elephants could not find an equaliser as the Super Eagles held on for a famous victory. Nigeria managed the closing stages expertly to condemn the stunned Elephants to their first defeat.

The Super Eagles stood tall in the face of intense Ivorian pressure to land a psychological blow on one of Africa’s proudest footballing nations. The 1-0 triumph lifts Nigeria level on four points with surprise package Equatorial Guinea at the Group A summit.

Cote d’Ivoire remain third on three points and likely need to beat Equatorial Guinea to reach the knockouts. By subduing the hosts in their own imposing fortress, Nigeria have emphatically revived their AFCON campaign.

The Super Eagles stood tall in the face of intense Ivorian pressure to land a psychological blow on one of Africa’s proudest footballing nations.

Having flexed their muscles by quietening the Abidjan crowd, Peseiro’s men have sounded a warning to TotalEnergies AFCON 2023 rivals

Below are the match facts

●       Côte d’Ivoire are only the second host country to lose in the group stage of a home Africa Cup of Nations in the 21st century, following Equatorial Guinea’s 1-0 defeat to Zambia in 2012.

●       Nigeria have scored at least one goal in 13 of their 14 Africa Cup of Nations group games over the last five editions in which they have participated, only failing to beat Madagascar in 2019 (2-0 defeat). At the same time, the Super Eagles have kept 8 clean sheets over this period.

●       1.6 goals were scored on average in the games between Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, with 11 goals scored in seven matches. This is the co-lowest ratio in a match played at least as many times in the competition (1.6 – 11 goals in 7 games also for Egypt-Morocco).

●       Côte d’Ivoire have conceded a penalty goal in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 2015 and a Dieumerci Mbokani strike for DR Congo. At each of the previous two editions (2019 and 2021), the Elephants conceded a penalty before being saved by their woodworks, each time against Algeria.

●       Goalscorer in the opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations, Seko Fofana attempted five shots today against Nigeria, no Côte d’Ivoire player has attempted more in a single match in the competition since Opta began analysing this data (2010).

●       Victor Osimhen played 21 duels today against Côte d’Ivoire, the highest tally of this Africa Cup of Nations 2023. This is the third-highest tally for a Nigeria player at an AFCON since Opta began analysing this data, behind Emmanuel Emenike (25 in 2013) and Paul Onuachu (23 in 2019).

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