The Nigeria international had his maiden AFCON tournament end in disappointment after falling on the last day to the Elephants
Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has offered his apology to fans following Nigeria’s defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday, Soccernet.ng reports.
After going unbeaten for six matchdays, Nigeria succumbed to the superior firepower of hosts Cote d’Ivoire in the final played at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.
William Troost-Ekong got the opener for Nigeria, but second-half goals from Frank Kessie and Sebastien Haller handed the Ivorians the win and the AFCON trophy.
It was the first time Nwabali would concede two goals in a match at the tournament, having kept four clean sheets in his first six games.
Nigerians were disappointed that the Super Eagles could not find the resources to beat the same Ivorian team they defeated 1-0 on matchday two during the group stage campaign.
And Nwabali, who has become a fan favourite following his excellent displays, has appreciated fans for their support throughout the tournament while apologising for how the adventure ended on a sad note.
Nwabali wrote on his Instagram page: “A disappointing and frustrating end. I deeply apologize to Nigerians.
“I’m a fan and I understand how it feels giving you a disappointing night. We take full responsibility. Thanks for the whole support till the end. I love you all.”
Nigeria are three-time winners of the AFCON, but the West African giants have now lost five finals, including in 1984, 1988, 1990, 2000, and 2023.