In a thrilling encounter against hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria’s forward, Victor Osimhen, emerged as the standout player, securing a 1-0 victory for the Super Eagles on Thursday in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Named Man of the Match, Osimhen expressed his joy in a post-match press conference, emphasizing the significance of overcoming the formidable host nation.
“It’s a beautiful victory; we knew we would face a strong Ivorian team,” Osimhen said, acknowledging the magnitude of the challenge posed by Cote d’Ivoire. “This match was a significant test for us, and we are thrilled to have overcome it.”
The pivotal moment came in the 55th minute when Osimhen earned a penalty, expertly converted by William Troost-Ekong to secure the lead. Looking ahead, Osimhen pledged to maintain the same mentality in upcoming matches, stating, “We will carry this mindset into the remainder of the competition.”
Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro revealed that a strategic approach played a crucial role in their hard-fought 1-0 win over Cote d’Ivoire. Peseiro acknowledged the need for improvement, stating, “For the next match, we have to control the game, try to be less timid and not give possession to the opponent.” Despite the victory, he cautioned his players not to savour it, emphasising the goal of winning the AFCON.
Super Eagles assistant coach, Finidi George, highlighted the importance of discipline and a tactical switch in formation in earning the victory. He stated, “It was a tactical game; we switched formations and had to defend most of the time, using counterattacks from the flanks.” George urged the team to stay focused and work harder in the upcoming match against Guinea-Bissau.
Victor Osimhen, the current African Footballer of the Year, expressed the team’s dissatisfaction with their performance in the match against Equatorial Guinea and emphasised their improved game against the host on Thursday. Osimhen stated, “We needed this game to make a statement,” expressing the team’s focus and determination.
In a summary of the match, the Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire 1-0, with captain William Troost-Ekong scoring from the penalty spot in the 55th minute. The victory propelled Nigeria to second place in Group A, boosting their chances for second-round qualification in the AFCON. The Super Eagles will face Guinea-Bissau in their final group-stage match on Monday, needing just a draw to advance to the next round.