William Troost-Ekong fired Nigeria to a 1-0 victory over Cote d’Ivoire in the much-anticipated Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) clash. SportsRation reports.
The match was played at the Stade Allassane Ouattara on Thursday, January 18, 2024.
Cote d’Ivoire started the game as favourites to win but were conquered by the Eagles who defied the odds to pick their first win of the 2023 AFCON tournament.
Early in the game, reigning CAF Men’s player of the year Victor Osimhen, had a chance to fire the Eagles in front but his effort flew over the crossbar from inside the Ivorien penalty area.
Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili was alert to deny Cote d‘Ivoire minutes later with Seko Fofana a threat with his bullet shots.
The first half ended goalless, with Nigeria bossting of the most shots.
Ten minutes into the second half, Nigeria earned a penalty-kick after a VAR review for a foul on Victor Osimhen.
Super Eagles skipper William Troost-Ekong took responsibility to fire a bullet shot into the net for what turned out to be the match-winner in the 55th minute.
Both teams had chances to add to the scoreline but it was the Super Eagles who held on for a 1-0 win over the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire to boost their chances of reaching the 2023 AFCON knockout round.
Nigeria will face already eliminated Guinea Bissau in their last group game while Cote d’Ivoire must defeat Equatorial Guinea to reach the next stage of the tournament.