AFCON 2023: Super Eagles of Nigeria take on whipping boys Guinea-Bissau


Guinea-Bissau faces the challenge of avoiding another early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations, seeking redemption against Nigeria at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium on Monday.

Despite setbacks against Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea, Djurtus could advance as one of the best third-placed teams by overcoming unbeaten Nigeria in the final Group A match.

The outlook for Guinea-Bissau in AFCON 2023 appears grim after a 4-2 defeat to in-form Equatorial Guinea on Thursday left them teetering on the edge of elimination.

Baciro Cande’s squad not only languishes at the bottom of Group A but also faces a hurdle with a -4 goal difference, adding complexity to their progression even if they manage to defeat the Super Eagles on Monday.

Despite three previous AFCON appearances, Djurtus have never reached the fourth game at the Cup of Nations, making a victory over Jose Peseiro’s men crucial for a chance to turn their fortune around.

In a surprising turn of events, Guinea-Bissau managed to defeat the three-time African champions in qualifying with a stunning 1-0 win at the giants’ home in March 2023. A similar triumph is the need of the hour for Cande’s side.

Cande, who lamented his team’s missed chances in the loss to Equatorial Guinea, emphasizes the importance of avoiding a repeat against Nigeria to keep their hopes alive for the Round of 16.

On the flip side, the Super Eagles, three-time AFCON winners, can’t afford complacency as they head into the crucial encounter on Monday, aiming to secure qualification.

With a 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast, Peseiro’s men have positioned themselves well, needing four points to ensure advancement to the knockout round. Peseiro’s tactical shift to a 5-4-1 formation in the last match surprised many, and its effectiveness might influence his decision for the final group game.

While victory could secure top spot for the Super Eagles, they must address their scoring inefficiencies, having missed numerous chances in the draw against Equatorial Guinea, despite a successful outing against the Elephants.

Nigeria’s defensive solidity, evident in their 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau at AFCON 2021, remains a crucial asset as they aim to overcome a resilient opponent.

Guinea-Bissau’s recent AFCON form reflects two losses, indicating a challenging journey, while their overall form across competitions shows inconsistency with one win in the last six matches.

In contrast, Nigeria’s AFCON form reveals a win and a draw, providing a solid foundation for progression. Their overall form across competitions includes two wins, two draws, and a loss, showcasing a slightly more stable performance heading into the decisive clash.

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