Nigeria was supposed to be the winner in their match against minnows Burundi. They competed in this tournament for the first time, but that was not the case, as they couldn’t beat the opposing team’s defence. Instead, the three-time African champions took 77 minutes to score a goal and win this match—Odion Ighalo’s goal proved the strength difference between the sides. However, Gernot Rohr admitted after the game that his team was made to “suffer” by Burundi. Next up is what should be an even more challenging game against a Guinea side ranked 63 places better off than the Super Eagles’ previous opponents in the FIFA rankings.
However, Nigeria ultimately got success, and the Ighalo-inspired victory made it five wins in the Africa Cup of Nations. That is their longest-ever streak in the competition. The West African nation, who have not conceded more than one goal in five wins, is now expected to become victorious against Guinea, taking off the pressure for their final group match versus Madagascar.
The team lost just one game in 10 matches over the previous year. Rohr’s team again shows why they are many fans’ favourites to go this year. After failing to qualify for the last two tournaments, Nigeria’s current dash can redeem itself.
Guinea took a point after versus Madagascar. And Paul Put described this as “disappointing” after losing a one-goal lead. Sory Kaba scored in 34 minutes played and took his team to a lead. Sometime later, Anicet Abel used some poor defending and scored a header. That forced Put to put on the field Naby Keita, and his introduction made a difference as Guinea created more chances and levelled up via Francois Kamano from the penalty spot to claim a point. Keita’s shape was a big talking point heading into the biennial game. He missed the final stages of Liverpool’s campaign with a groin problem that he has only just recovered from, though he now looks ready to play a whole part.
Coach has called on his players to dismiss the in-game errors if they have any chance of claiming a victory against Nigeria, knowing that defeat to the Super Eagles and victory for Madagascar over Burundi will see his team drop to third place in a group.
Guinea has no wins in their last six games in the Africa Cup of Nations but has four draws. Their previous success in the competition came back in 2012 against Botswana. 5 of Guinea’s last 10 goals in the competition have been scored following set-piece situations, including a couple of penalties.
Nigeria and Guinea have only met once at the Africa Cup of Nations – a 1-1 group-stage draw in March 1976. The Super Eagles are winless in their last four meetings with Guinea in all competitions after losing none of the previous eight. Not since October 2011 have the sides, they have met, with Victor Obinna and Ikechukwu Uche scoring for Nigeria in a 2-2 draw.
Guinea-Bissau almost lost all their chances to participate in the round of 16 as they fell to a slender 1-0 loss against Egypt. However, after great defensive plays for most of the game, Liverpool star Mohamed Salah still could score the only goal in the 69th minute. Before that, a resilient Sudan side held Baciro Cande’s team to an uneventful goalless draw. The Djurtus now need a victory to keep their qualification hopes alive as they are currently level on one point with Sudan and two behind second-placed Egypt. However, Guinea-Bissau head into the game in ominous form as they have failed to win any of their last 6 games in all competitions, picking up 3 draws and losing 3 while failing to score in all 6 matches.
Meanwhile, Nigeria became the latest side to qualify for the knockout stages, joining host nation Cameroon and 1976 champions Morocco, after they eased to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Sudan. In a one-sided affair, Samuel Chukwueze and Taiwo Awoniyi scored to hand the Super Eagles a two-goal lead heading into halftime. However, after Moses Simon scored shortly after the 2 half started, Walieldin Khidir pulled one back for the Falcons of Jediane as he converted his 70th-minute penalty. Nigeria goes into Wednesday’s game unbeaten in each of their last 5 games across all competitions, picking up 4 wins and 1 draw since the 1-0 defeat from the Central African Republic. The Super Eagles will now look to keep the win streak and make it 3 wins from their opening three AFCON games for the first time since 2006 when they defeated Senegal, Zimbabwe and Ghana.
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