The Super Eagles of Nigeria secured their firs victory against Ivory Coast for the first time since their 3-2 clash against Mozambique
Former Super Eagles star, Austin Jay Jay Okocha commended the team for their impressive 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, as reported by Soccernet.ng.
The decisive goal, scored by PAOK defender William Troost-Ekong from the spot, marked Nigeria’s first win since the 3-2 triumph against Mozambique.
Speaking to Soccernet.ng post-game, Okocha stated that the Super Eagles deserved the win, showcasing a strong performance against the 2015 AFCON champions.
With this victory, the Super Eagles position themselves well for the round of 16, accumulating four points and matching table-toppers Equatorial Guinea, who hold a superior goal difference.
When asked about his feelings about Nigeria’s win against the Ivorian national team, Okocha expressed his joy and highlighted the team’s deserving victory.
“I feel great; you know, it’s part of the reason why we are here—to encourage the team, and they [Super Eagles] really played well today. We deserve the victory today.” he asked.
The Super Eagles, driven by the “Let’s do it again” mantra, aim to replicate their 2013 success and secure their fourth AFCON trophy.
Regarding the team’s chances against Ivory Coast, Okocha acknowledged the unpredictability of football but praised the team’s cohesive effort and determination.
He added: “Well, I mean, in football, anything is possible. But this is a big step. The first game was not easy, and I love the reaction they showed today; they knew what was needed. And they all worked as a team, so that gives us hope.”
Napoli forward was named the game’s best player, Troost-Ekong securing the winning goal, and Ola Aina and Calvin Bassey earning favouritism from fans.
When questioned about the standout player in Nigeria’s clash with Ivory Coast, Okocha emphasized the collective teamwork and hard work, particularly defensively.
“The team played well; it’s teamwork, [and] they really worked hard. Especially defensive wise.”, he stated.
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Nigeria’s progression to the next round hinges on avoiding a loss in their upcoming match against Guinea-Bissau, while Ivory Coast, with 3 points, looks to secure hope against Equatorial Guinea in their final group-stage encounter.