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2023 AFCON Qualifying: Wasteful and uninspiring Nigeria suffer home defeat to Guinea-Bissau

An excellent finish from striker Mama Baldé in the first half gave Guinea-Bissau a lead they would not relinquish as the Djurtus stunned the Super Eagles of Nigeria 1-0 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Friday in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. The Troyes striker’s goal made the difference in a match that saw Nigeria lack creativity and efficiency in front of the goal while the visitors capitalized on their few opportunities and defended bravely. Guinea-Bissau move to the top of Group A with seven points, one ahead of Nigeria before the teams face off again in Bissau on Monday.

In a sight all too familiar for Super Eagles supporters in recent times, Nigeria’s illustrious attackers once again failed to transfer the form they are showing in European club football to the national team. Nigeria controlled the opening half hour but on fire striker Victor Osimhen failed to open the scoring in the 16th minute when Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Jonas Mendes was quick off his line to close down the Napoli player after he received a through pass.

The visitors showed signs of being dangerous and took the lead on the half hour mark through a brilliant finish from Baldé, who did excellently to take down a long ball and finish past Nigeria keeper Francis Uzoho in one fluid motion after latching onto a lofted long pass from Opa Sanganté. Nigeria struggled to regain their composure and nearly conceded a second before halftime but Dálcio lost his composure and shot into the side netting after a cross from Fali Candé made it through to him.

The second half featured more struggles from Nigeria, who appeared to be too urgent and impatient in the final third. Samuel Chukwueze and Osimhen failed to impress with their finishing as the Super Eagles only managed to put three of their seventeen shots on target. The introduction of towering striker Paul Onuachu did little to remedy the Nigerian effort but the Southampton striker came closest when he headed Moses Simon’s cross wide in the 80th minute.

A frustrating outing for Nigeria ended with a massive victory for the visiting Djurtus, who will be able to welcome the Super Eagles in four days after receiving clearance from CAF for use of the Estádio Nacional 24 de Setembro in Bissau. Highlights of the match are below.


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