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5 things we learnt as Super Eagles beat Cote d’Ivoire 1-0

Here are five key takeaways from the Super Eagles’ 1-0 victory over Cote d’Ivoire at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations:

  1. Osimhen’s missed opportunities: Once again, Victor Osimhen missed crucial chances to score for the national team, including a one-on-one opportunity and a header from a corner kick.
  2. Tactical success with 3-4-3: Coach Jose Peseiro may have found an effective tactical approach with the 3-4-3 formation, although there are questions about Alex Iwobi’s role. Alhassan Yusuf could be considered as an alternative option within this system.
  3. Strong defensive performance: With the exception of Zaidu Sanusi, the team’s defenders delivered a solid performance. Calvin Bassey and Ola Aina, in particular, showcased impressive contributions on the flanks. William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, and goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili also displayed reliability in defense.
  4. Advancement to knockout stages: Nigeria’s four points from two matches place them in a strong position to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament. A decisive match against Guinea-Bissau, who are unlikely to advance, offers the opportunity to secure additional points.
  5. Challenges for the hosts: Cote d’Ivoire faces the potential of an early exit from the competition. Their upcoming fixture against Equatorial Guinea presents a significant challenge, as the host team must elevate their performance to secure qualification.