Home » Nigeria into last 16 with edgy win over Guinea Bissau

Nigeria into last 16 with edgy win over Guinea Bissau

Victor Osimhen in action for Nigeria
A first-half own-goal by Opa Sangante helped Nigeria book their seat at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) knockout stages with a challenging 1-0 victory against a spirited Guinea-Bissau side seeking their maiden win at the tournament.

Having never lost all three games in the AFCON group stages, the already-eliminated Djurtus mounted an impressive resistance to thwart Victor Osimhen and his compatriots, even looking more menacing in the early stages against the three-time AFCON winners.

However, Guinea Bissau were rocked when Sangante blasted an attempted clearance against his own goalkeeper, handing Nigeria a fortunate lead.

With qualification to the knockout stages at stake, Jose Peseiro’s men looked comfortable with their one-goal lead heading into the break, with Victor Osimhen coming close to a second goal with a missed header in first-half stoppage time.

An end-to-end encounter ensued after the restart, with both teams having a go at each other at every given opportunity.

Before long, Nigeria thought they had doubled their lead, only for referee Bouchra Karboubi to signal handball in the build-up, denying Osimhen a tap-in. It perhaps wasn’t the Napoli marksman’s day, as he once again spurned a priceless header from point-blank range 12 minutes from full-time, giving Baciro Candé’s men some hope of claiming at least a draw.

And without delay, the Djurtus were on the cusp of major celebrations when Franculino was denied a goal due to an offside flag before the same fate welcomed Nigeria at the other end.

The tense drama continued until the end, with the Super Eagles ultimately claiming the win to confirm a second-placed finish behind Group A leaders Equatorial Guinea. Meanwhile, Guinea Bissau exit the competition without a win for the fourth time in succession – a streak of 12 winless games.