The three-time African champions were way below their best as the Djurtus claim a historic first win
Despite the presence of Napoli ace Victor Osimhen, the Super Eagles failed to soar as Guinea-Bissau claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win at the MKO Abiola Stadium on gameweek four of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
Group A leaders Nigeria were the clear favourites ahead of kickoff, and head coach Jose Peseiro’s starting lineup showed the full attacking strength of the Super Eagles.
Victor Osimhen started upfront alongside Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho, flanked on either side by Samuel Chukwueze and Ademola Lookman.
All four have accounted for over fifty club goals in Europe during the 2022/2023 season and they were all involved as Nigeria looked to make their dominance count in the early exchanges.
But Guinea-Bissau for the crucial breakthrough through Mama Balde just before the half-hour mark to throw a spanner in the works of the home side and stun the fans inside the stadium into silence.
Jose Peseiro swung into action at halftime as he sent in Nantes’ Moses Simon and Southampton’s Paul Onuachu at halftime as the Super Eagles looked to claw their way back into the encounter.
Admittedly, Nigeria created the better chances after the break. But strangely, the ball just would not find its way into the net.
Simon miscued from the penalty spot after Chukwueze set him up. Moments later, Ndidi found himself in the box, only for the midfielder to pick a pass past the keeper when a low shot could have done the trick.
Osimhen fought to free himself shortly after, and the striker stung the goalkeeper’s palms from a tight angle.
The finishing kept getting more terrible and it was Chukwueze’s turn to blast wide after doing well to get past two markers. That Villarreal winger’s effort came in between a couple of wayward Onuachu headers.
The chances did not halt. But none of Osimhen or Onuachu could redirect the ball into the net after Osayi-Samuel’s cross caught the goalie in no man’s land. Moments later, another fierce Chukuweze drive just whistled past the goalpost.
Ten minutes to full-time, Simon got to the baseline and sent a decent cross to Onuachu but the Southampton man managed to get his final effort off target when it seemed easier to score.
And despite having a few more half-chances, Guinea-Bissau held on bravely to secure one of the biggest wins in the nation’s history.
With the victory, the Wild Dogs move on to seven points to overtake Nigeria at the top of Group A.
The two teams will face off again on Monday in the return leg in Bissau.
Leave a Reply