The Super Eagles of Nigeria suffered a heartbreak on Sunday, but they will look to regroup
The Super Eagles of Nigeria lost 2-1 to Cote d’Ivoire in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday, Soccernet.ng reports.
It was a game that had everything, a spectacle for the neutrals and fans from Cote d’Ivoire but a source of heartbreak for Nigerian fans. The Super Eagles scored first, but Cote d’Ivoire rallied to claim a 2-1 win.
Soccernet.ng explains five major observations from the AFCON final.
1. The referee had a bad game
The first half was really bad for referee Dahane Beida. Most of his calls in the first half were really poor, and he almost lost control of the fixture. But in the second half, he improved a little.
2. Zaidu Sanusi is not reliable
Sanusi had yet another average performance. His forward runs were not impressive, and the one big chance that he had, he threw it away. Offensively, Bright Osayi-Samuel is far better.
3. Ola Aina had his worst performance
This was unarguably Aina’s worst performance at the AFCON. Simon Adingra had a lot of joy on the left and beat him almost every time they were isolated. Two of Cote d’Ivoire’s goals came from Aina’s side of the pitch, and he offered nothing plausible in the final third.
4. Peseiro needs to start searching for Samuel Chukwueze’s replacement
Chukwueze had yet another stinker for Nigeria. The AC Milan man has hardly ever impressed in the green and white. However, he keeps getting call-ups because he is one of Nigeria’s biggest players. Nigeria can not afford to keep waiting for Chukwueze to perform, so Peseiro has to get someone else.
5. Nigeria missed Ndidi in the midfield
Nigeria missed Ndidi’s cooling presence in the midfield. The Leicester City man got injured before the AFCON started, and Alhassan Yusuf was called to replace him. Iwobi was very poor, and the midfield was very unstable. If Ndidi were available, it would have been a different story.