The Super Eagles of Nigeria were looking for their first win of the AFCON 2023 after a disappointing result against Equatorial Guinea in their opening fixture. On the other hand, a win for the host nation ( Ivory Coast) will seal their place in the second round of the tournament.
The game between Nigeria and Ivory Coast always gives lovers of football around the world something to talk about whenever the two powerhouses meet. The Super Eagles secured their first win at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations by beating the host nation, Ivory Coast to go second on the table.
Here are the five talking points from the match:
(1) Stanley Nwabali:
The Super Eagles number-one shot-stopper at the ongoing African Cup of Nations repaid Jose Peseiro’s decision to put him in goal ahead of Francis Uzoho. The Chuppa United’s player brought what has been lacking in the team since the days of Vincent Enyema, he shows good communication and leadership skills made him stood out in the team.
(2) Lack of Cohesion:
The coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro must ensure he works on how the players can strings both short and long passes as the team goes on in the competition. The three-time Africa Champions were poor in the midfield and in the penalty area of the Ivorians which is a weakness for the team.
(3) William Troost-Ekong:
The captain of the Super Eagles showed a man of the match performance ny keeping a clean sheet and also steeping up to take the penalty which ensured his team won the match. Ekong has showed why he is one of the senior players in the team, his presence will be key going forward in the tournament.
(4) Poor Set-Pieces:
The Super Eagles have failed to take advantage of any set-piece that they have had in recent times before and during the competition. The coaching crew must try to find a way to take advantage of free-kicks and corner-kicks whenever the team gets such opportunity.
(5) Round of 16:
This result is a big step for the Super Eagles as it puts them in second place behind Equatorial Guinea on goal difference. Nigeria needs a point in their final group game against Guinea Bissau who should not a problem to Peseiro and his boys.