Nigeria 1-1 Equatorial Guinea: Nigeria narrowly escapes upset in AFCON opener against Equatorial Guinea

Posted : 14 January 2024

 In a tense opening match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria narrowly avoided a shock defeat against Equatorial Guinea, as Victor Osimhen swiftly equalized following Iban Salvador's surprise opener.

 

 Despite Equatorial Guinea being 46 places below Nigeria in the world rankings, Salvador's classy first-half finish momentarily threatened an upset. The match ended in a draw, leaving both teams with two points, trailing behind Ivory Coast, who secured a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau in the tournament's opening game.

 

Equatorial Guinea celebrated taking the lead ecstatically, but their joy was short-lived as Osimhen promptly converted Ademola Lookman's cross, leveling the score. Goalkeeper Jesus Owono's exceptional second-half saves frustrated the Super Eagles, and Osimhen missed a crucial chance after breaking clear. Despite Nigeria's dominance, they couldn't break the deadlock against the resilient Equatorial Guinea side.

 

Nigeria, three-time continental champions, are eager to clinch the trophy for the first time since 2013. However, they face tough competition in a group that includes Ivory Coast, another strong contender.

 

Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, will look to build on their resilient performance as they face Guinea-Bissau in their next match. The Africa Cup of Nations promises more intense clashes as teams vie for supremacy in the prestigious tournament.

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