In a decisive match, Nigeria emerged victorious against Guinea-Bissau, clinching a 1-0 win and securing a spot in the last 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The critical moment came in the first half, as Opa Sangante inadvertently redirected a Moses Simon cross into his own net, giving Nigeria the lead nine minutes before halftime. Despite both teams having goals disallowed in the second half due to offside, and Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen having an effort disallowed for handball, the Super Eagles maintained their lead.
Jose Peseiro’s squad claimed the second spot in Group A, trailing behind Equatorial Guinea, who triumphed over hosts Ivory Coast with a 4-0 victory. In the upcoming last 16 clash on Saturday at 20:00 GMT, Nigeria will face the second-placed team from Group C, contenders being Senegal, Guinea, or Cameroon.
Meanwhile, making history at the Afcon finals, Bouchra Karboubi became the second woman to referee a match, leading an all-female officiating team. This follows in the footsteps of Salima Mukansanga two years ago in Cameroon.
Despite Guinea-Bissau having no chance of advancing to the knockout stages, the match at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium remained entertaining. While Osimhen missed several opportunities to score, his involvement in the only goal secured Nigeria’s progression.
Looking ahead, Peseiro acknowledges the need for improved clinicality in attack if Nigeria aims to make a deep impact in the finals.