MATCH REPORT: Victor Osimhem’s header cancels out Salvador’s strike as the Super Eagles and the National Thunder – AFCON 2023.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria and The National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea share spoils at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in the second match in Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 in Ivory Coast.

Just twenty seconds inside the game, the Super Eagles of Nigeria sent an early signal with the first shot on target through Everton Football Club’s midfielder Alex Iwobi but his effort was calmly grabbed by Deportivo Alaves goalkeeper Jesus Ngua. Jesus Ngua made another crucial save to deny Victor Osimhen’s powerful header from entering the net in the sixth minute but was later flagged offside.

In the twentieth minute, Jesus Ngua made an excellent save to deny Victor Osimhen’s powerful strike for a corner kick. In the early stages of the game, Nigeria was dominant in all aspects of the game.

In the 35th minute, Ivan Salvador put the National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea in front with a beautiful curler to the bottom left corner beyond the reach of Stanley Nwabali after being set up in the penalty box by Jose Dicombo.

The Super Green Eagles of Nigeria made a quick response two minutes after conceding with an equalizer through the Africa Player of the Year Victor Osimhen latched on to Ademola Lookman’s cross to level parity with a header just before the halftime break.

Back from recess, Nigeria continued dominating and created numerous goal-scoring chances but the defense of Equatorial Guinea was resolute not to concede. In the 54th minute, Jesus Ngua once again made a crucial stop to deny Victor Osimhen from getting his second on the day. Ola Aina was also denied by Jesus Ngua to keep the game leveled.

Moreover, the host Ivory Coast humbled Guinea Bissau on the opening day by two goals to nil at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium yesterday. Seko Fofana and Jean Philippe Krasso scored the two goals for Ivory Coast in the fourth and fifty-eighth minute respectively.

Following the draw, Equatorial Guinea extends its unbeaten run to eleven matches in a row while the Super Eagles of Nigeria continue with their uninspiring performance of late. However, is Victor Osimhen’s first goal in his debut game in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Despite the draw and numerous chances missed by Victor Osimhen, the reigning best player on the African continent was the best player of Nigeria in the game. The Napoli striker lasted the entire duration of the game with a goal, created one big chance and had two shots on target.

For Equatorial Guinea, goalkeeper Jesus Ngua made some seven crucial saves and was adjudged the most valuable player of the match.

The host Ivory Coast leads Group A with three points, followed by Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea with a point each while Guinea Bissau sits on the bottom with no points after the first round of matches in Group A.

Ivory Coast will lock horns with the Super Eagles of Nigeria while Guinea Bissau will square it off against Equatorial Guinea in round two of the matches.

 

 

 

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