The former three-time winners were wasteful against the National Thunder as both teams settled for an opening-day stalemate
Former Everton defender Joseph Yobo has commended the Super Eagles for forcing Equatorial Guinea to a 1-1 draw at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng reports.
Nigeria were the heavy favourites to claim an opening day win over an Equatorial Guinea side ranked 46 places below the Super Eagles on the FIFA ranking.
However, Equatorial Guinea drew the first blood through Ivan Salvador in the 36th minute before the Super Eagles swiftly responded a minute later as Victor Osimhen headed home a crucial equalizer.
Nigeria had enough chances to win the tie. Still, Osimhen, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, Moses Simon, and Ademola Lookman failed to take any of the chances that fell to them.
Still, former Super Eagles captain Yobo has applauded the team, Osimhen, and Lookman for ensuring that Nigeria did not start the AFCON with a loss.
Sharing his insights as a guest on Afrosports AFCON 2023 coverage, the 2013 AFCON winner emphasised the significance of avoiding defeat, stating,
“Most importantly, we didn’t lose this game. I believe we can do better in the next game against Ivory Coast. Inasmuch as we had chances to beat Equatorial Guinea, I will, however, encourage the team to focus on their next game.
“Super Eagles still have the character of reacting when they concede a goal. The confidence of the team is there, and I am happy that they reacted perfectly well a few seconds after going down one goal.
“Credit to Osimhen for netting the goal and also to Lookman for providing the assist. The team must keep the spirit going.”
Nigeria will next face hosts Cote d’Ivoire in a game the Super Eagles cannot afford to lose.
The Ivorians forced a 2-0 defeat down the throat of Guinea-Bissau in the tournament’s opening match.