In a much-anticipated Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) clash played on Thursday, January 18, 2024, William Troost-Ekong propelled Nigeria to a 1-0 victory over Cote d’Ivoire. The intense match took place at the Stade Allassane Ouattara.
Despite Cote d’Ivoire entering the game as favorites, Nigeria defied expectations and secured their first win in the 2023 AFCON tournament. Early in the game, Victor Osimhen, the reigning CAF Men’s Player of the Year, had an opportunity to put Nigeria ahead, but his shot from inside the Ivorian penalty area sailed over the crossbar.
Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili made crucial saves to deny Cote d’Ivoire goals, with Seko Fofana posing a threat with powerful shots. The first-half concluded without either team finding the back of the net, despite Nigeria having the majority of shots in the game.
Ten minutes into the second half, Nigeria was awarded a penalty after a VAR review for a foul on Victor Osimhen. Super Eagles captain William Troost-Ekong stepped up and delivered a powerful shot into the net, securing the lone goal of the match in the 55th minute.
Both teams had opportunities to add to the scoreline, but Nigeria held on for a 1-0 victory over the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire, enhancing their prospects of advancing to the knockout stage of the 2023 AFCON.
Nigeria will face Guinea Bissau in their final group game seeking a point to reach the next round, while Cote d’Ivoire must defeat Equatorial Guinea to secure progression in the tournament.