Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Samuel Chukwueze Optimistic Nigeria Will Win The Ongoing AFCON

Samuel Chukwueze, a winger for AC Milan, is optimistic that Nigeria would win the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Last Sunday, the Super Eagles and Equatorial Guinea drew 0-0 to begin the continental extravaganza.

In the opening game of the AFCON, the three-time champions of the competition overcame a deficit to steal a point from their rival.

Equatorial Guinea’s Iban Salvador took the lead in the 36th minute, and two minutes later, Victor Osimhen of Napoli equalised.

“I believe we will prevail in the AFCON.” I’m not just here to play; I’m here to win the AFCON. I came here to win; if I hadn’t wanted to win, I would have stayed at my club instead of just coming to take part in the event. “I came here in hopes of winning,” he declared.

Today at the Stade Olympique Alassane Quattara Stadium in Abidjan, Nigeria will play the second group match against Ivory Coast, which presents a difficult challenge.

When Nigeria was placed in a group with Sudan and the United Arab Republic in 1963, they made their debut at the Africa Cup of Nations but failed to qualify to the next stage of the competition.

Following third-place results in the 1976 and 1978 African Cup of Nations, the team’s first significant victory came in the form of a gold medal in the Second All-Africa Games in 1973. Christian Chukwu led the team that won the African Cup for the first time in Lagos in 1980, which had players like Segun Odegbami and Best Ogedegbe.

The men’s football team from Nigeria won the Olympic football competition in Atlanta in 1996, defeating teams from Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. They finished second in the same competition in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, falling short against Argentina in a replay of the event’s 1996 Final.

Nigeria made it to the Cup of Nations final three times (1984, 1988, and 2000), however they lost to Cameroon. Cameroon defeated Nigeria to win three of their five African titles. There is a fierce competition between the two countries as a result of both of them frequently missing out on Cameroon.

Three occasions stand out in particular: losing by a narrow margin in the 1988 African Cup of Nations, qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, and the contentious 2000 African Cup of Nations final in which Victor Ikpeba’s kick during the penalty shootout was ruled by the referee not to have crossed the goal line.

Due to political unrest, the team withdrew from two African Cup of Nations tournaments between 1963 and 1974 as well as in 1996. They returned to the Cup of Nations in 1976 after placing third in the Africa Cup of Nations in both 1976 and 1978.

In 1980, Nigeria won their first Cup of Nations title in Lagos and served as the host nation for the Africa Cup of Nations. Between 1982 and 1990, Nigeria qualified for the group stage only once and finished as runners-up three times. Additionally, they were unable to earn a spot in Egypt’s 1986 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria made another appearance in the African Cup of Nations, finishing third in the 1992 competition and winning the competition for the second time in 1994.

Nigeria’s 2008 Africa Cup of Nations campaign came to an end in the quarterfinals following a defeat to Ghana. They made it to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, which Angola hosted, but Ghana beat them in the semifinals. They finished the qualifiers with a 2–2 tie against Guinea, with goals from Ikechukwu Uche and Victor Obinna, meaning they were not selected for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria made a reappearance at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, which was held in South Africa. They went undefeated throughout the competition and won the Cup for the third time in the finals against Burkina Faso. They were not, however, able to advance to the next two competitions.

Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification on July 18, 2019. Group L included Sierra Leone, Lesotho, and Benin in addition to the Super Eagles. 

Nigeria’s opening group game saw them overcome Benin 2–1 at Uyo. Later, they won 4–2 away from home against Lesotho. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CAF decided to postpone the AFCON qualifications indefinitely starting in March 2020.

Following this, on June 30, 2020, CAF announced a new date for the 2021 African Cup of Nations: January 9, 2022, to February 6, 2022. Restarting the qualifiers was November 9, 2020.

Beginning on January 9, 2022, the 2021 AFCON saw Nigeria emerge victorious in all three group stage encounters, defeating Egypt 1-0, Sudan 3-1, and Guinea-Bissau 2-0. Nigeria was the sole team participating in the tournament. On January 23, Nigeria, however, fell to Tunisia 0–0 in the round of 16.

Can the Super Eagles lift the African Cup of Nations trophy again after 11 years? A win today will be a massive boost for the Super Eagles and Nigeria.

About The Author

By Isaac

Isaac Affum(iNewtyn) is a passionate blogger who with a careful study aims at providing vital,authentic and educational insights in the world of sports and entertainment and also gives out detailed analysis on questions that is of interest to the society

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