Nigeria’s Super Eagles have qualified to the Round of 16 after a lone goal win over Guinea Bissau and thus placed second on the Group A log behind Equatorial Guinea who massacred Cote d’Ivoire 4-0.
For Nigeria, it was an escape to victory as the lone goal was a self-inflicted one by Guinea Bissau.
The Super Eagles continue with their now familiar pattern of not winning by more than a goal except in the matches against Sao Tome & Principe.
Great thanks to the first half own-goal by Opa Sangante who handed victory to Nigeria. The build-up began from hard fighting Ola Aina whose header from what could been a throw-in found Moses Simon who sent in a low cross from the left looking for Victor Osimhen but as Sangante attempted to clear ahead of the striker he could only steer the ball into the roof of his own net after 36 minutes.
Nigeria finish on seven points from three games, behind surprise package Equatorial Guinea on goal difference.
Hosts Ivory Coast face an anxious wait to see if they will advance as one of the best third-place finishers with three points and a minus three goal difference.
Nigeria dominated the game but poor finishing meant it was a tense encounter to the end, with Osimhen missing several chances to secure the three points earlier in the contest and both teams having late goals correctly ruled out for offside.
While the Super Eagles survived, it was nightmarish for the hosts, Cote d’Ivoire who are very close to the exit gate of the tournament.
Cote d’Ivoire who go into AFCON records as the first hosts to lose by a four goal margin. They scandalously lost 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea and have a remote chance of ranking among the best four of the six third-placed teams. They have a long wait to know their fate.
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