AFCON AFCON 2023: Ekong Goal Hand Nigeria Win over Hosts

Nigeria defeated Ivory Coast 1-0 in their second Group A match at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium on Thursday, with a spot kick scored by William Troost-Ekong.a

Young Ivorian defender Ousmane Diomande was found to have obstructed Victor Osimhen, and Captain William Troost-Ekong scored the penalty kick in the 55th minute.

As a result of the victory, Equatorial Guinea, who had previously defeated Guinea Bissau 4–2, and Nigeria go up to the top of the standings with four points. Three are the hosts.

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There were a lot of physical fights and few obvious opportunities made throughout the mainly dull match between the heavyweights from West Africa.

However, it was discovered that 20-year-old Diomande had grabbed Osimhen by the knee during their scuffle for the ball in the penalty area. Troost-Ekong then hammered the ball straight down the middle to end the altercation.

Nigeria put on a solid defensive display, playing five across the back to thwart the cunning home assault and giving their hosts few opportunities.

Additionally, they appeared more dangerous right away as Osimhen missed a great chance to take the lead.

The Nigerian custodian Stanley Nwabali denied the hosts’ best chance in the first half through Christian Kouame.

The Super Eagles, who triumphed in the Ivory Coast for the first time in ten attempts, never appeared likely to be defeated as the Ivorians ran out of energy early on and even with nine minutes of stoppage time.

Ivory Coast defeated Guinea Bissau 2-0 in their opening match on Saturday, giving them three points and a strong chance to advance.

On Monday, they play Equatorial Guinea in their last group match, with Guinea Bissau playing Nigeria concurrently.

Despite being held in stadiums at different parts of the city, both matches are in Abidjan.

Later on Thursday, in a Group B encounter, Egypt and Ghana were playing the final of three games in a single day at the tournament.

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