Troost Ekong’s strike sends Super Eagles to Round of 16

The defender found the back of the net with a fine effort to ensure his side progress in the continental tournament.

William-Troost Ekong scored as Nigeria secured a 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast in their second Group A game in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament at the Olympic Stadium Ebimpe on Thursday.
The PAOK of Greece centre-back struck the solitary goal of the game in the 55th minute with a well-taken penalty, which was enough to seal the Super Eagles’ place at the next stage of the competition and ensured that they outwit their arch West African rival.

Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro named a strong team against Ivory Coast after playing a 1-1 draw against Equitoria Guinea in their first match on Sunday. The Portuguese tactician featured Samuel Chukwueze, Calcin Bassey and Semi Ajayi in his starting line-up.
Cote D’Ivoire coach Jean-Louis Gasset made few changes to his side that defeated Guinea Bissau 2-0 in their opening game and handed a chance to Christian Kouma in the encounter.

The Super Eagles took the game to their hosts and came close to score as early as the fourth minute when Frank Onyeka struck a shot but his effort went off target. Ivory Coast almost immediately responded to the challenge when Kouma came close to ink his name on the scoresheet in the seventh minute. The winger powered a header towards the face of goal but his effort failed to trouble goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali. In the 15th minute of the game, Ivory Coast got a superb chance to score through Evan Ndicka when the defender struck a powerful shot but goalkeeper Nwabali was at the right place at the right time to save the effort. At the nick of half-time, Nigeria almost found the back of the net through Zaidu Sanusi but the midfielder missed the target by a whisker.

The second-half got underway with lots of vigores as both sides aimed to break the deadlock. Nigeria got an amazing chance to score when they were awarded a penalty in the 55th minute, Troost-Ekong sent a powerful strike past goalkeeper Yahia Fofana to hand the Super Eagles a lead. Coach Gasset made five substitutions in the game while Nigeria made four. Some moments before the end of the game, Nwabali was cautioned.
This result sealed the Super Eagles’ place in the Round of 16 of the tournament while Ivory Coast will hope for a favourable result against Equitoria Guinea in their last group game for a chance to secure their place in the next stage. Nigeria currently has four points while Ivory Coast has three points. The Super Eagles will play Guinea Bissau in their last group game on January 22.

About Oluwagbenga Adewoye

Content creator with more than six years experience. I write on varieties of events, including sports. I like to write African stories from African perspective. I write on league games around the world. I love what I do.

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