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AFCON23Q: Guinea-Bissau Clip Super Eagles’ Wings 

 

Guinea-Bissau stunned Nigeria 0-1 in a Group A 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Friday.

A 29th-minute goal was all the visitors needed to shock the 2013 AFCON winners on home soil and hand them a famous victory. That was Guinea-Bissau’s first-ever win against the Super Eagles. The first time both sides met was at the 2021 AFCON as Nigeria defeated them 2-0 in a group stage game.

Heading into Friday’s match, Nigeria was brimming with confidence having Serie A topscorer Victor Osimhen and Atalanta’s Lookman Ademola in their ranks.

Before the clash, the Napoli forward admitted that the team won’t underrate the Wild Dogs but assured of victory.

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Expectedly, the 1994 AFCON winners began the game on a good note with Villareal’s Samuel Chukwueze threatening the visitors.

Osimhen had the chance to give Nigeria the lead but the Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Jonas Mendes denied him.

Despite the Eagles’ early dominance, the Djurtus managed to hold and steadily grew into the game, causing a scare for the defensive partnership of Kevin Akpogoma and Cavin Bassey.

They finally got the breakthrough four minutes away from the half-hour mark as an inviting long ball split the Super Eagles’ defence and fell to a chasing Mama Samba Balde.

He wasted no time in dispatching the ball through Francis Uzoho’s leg as his side raced to a lead.

Barring a side netting, Guinea-Bissau almost doubled the margin after a swift counterattack a few minutes later.

Nigeria’s coach Jose Peseiro threw Paul Onuachu and Moses Simon into the game – subbing Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho –  as hostilities started for the second half.

Wilfred Ndidi’s weak effort, and Moses’ wide shots – all coming in the latter stages of the encounter – were all products of the team’s waves of attack.

But the Djurtus held on to claim a famous victory over Nigeria, a win that catapulted them to the summit of the group with seven points from three games.

Nigeria will be aiming to make amends in the second leg of the encounter at the Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau on Monday.

Emmanuel Egobiambu

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