The three-time African champions produced one of their most accomplished performances in recent times to claim a memorable win
Nigerian legend Austin Okocha and Bayer Leverkusen star Victor Boniface have rejoiced with the Super Eagles following their tough 1-0 win over hosts Cote d’Ivoire at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng reports.
Having won each of their last four games in all competitions, Cote d’Ivoire, playing in front of thousands of home fans, were the big favourites to shoot down the Super Eagles.
The Elephants were, however, stunned by Nigeria’s organisation and industry, which made the home team look ordinary.
Ultimately, captain William Troost-Ekong smashed home a second-half penalty against the Ivorians at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan to help the Super Eagles end a disappointing run of four games without a win.
After the victory, former PSG playmaker Okocha visited the Super Eagles’ dressing room to congratulate the players for recording their first victory at the AFCON.
The former Bolton Wanderers skipper had spent time with the Eagles before the meeting with Cote d’Ivoire to encourage and motivate them.
During his congratulatory visit, Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho pleaded with Okocha to spend more time with the team before crucial games.
While Okocha was still with the Eagles, Bayer Leverkusen ace Boniface video-called the team to felicitate with them on the memorable win over the Ivorians.
Boniface, who would have been with the team but for a late injury that aborted his AFCON dreams, was pleased to rejoice with the team.
Jay-Jay Okocha and Victor Boniface spoke to the Super Eagles players after their victory. pic.twitter.com/gf3HTLjVTV— 🐬 @𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗷𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗯𝗼𝘆 (@OneJoblessBoy) January 18, 2024
The former Union Saint-Gilloise ace had personal exchanges with Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Bruno Onyemaechi, and Raphael Onyedika.
Once the celebrations wear off, the Super Eagles will turn their attention to their next group game against Guinea-Bissau.
Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau were in a similar situation at the 2021 AFCON, with the Super Eagles claiming a 2-0 win to finish as group leaders while the Djurtus left the tournament still looking for their first-ever win.