The Super Eagles of Nigeria have crashed out of the ongoing round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations holding in Cameroon. They lost 1-0 to Tunisia on Sunday evening sending sadness across the country.
Barely two minutes after he was brought into the game, Alex Iwobi was sent off for a bad tackle. This is after Tunisia shocked the Super Eagles of Nigeria by scoring two minutes into the second half. A long-range shot from Youssef Msakni gave the Carthage Eagles their first goal in the game.
The goal came after Msakni’s shot from outside the 18-yard box was poorly parried into the net by Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye. Super Eagles had faced a tough challenge in the first half of their encounter against Tunisia at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.
A cagey opening controlled by Nigeria became tough in the 21 minutes as the Tunisian attackers put pressure on Nigeria’s defenders. Skilful attackers Moses Simon and Kelechi Iheanacho failed to sparkle as they barely got a chance on the pitch this evening in the tough game.
Simon played a major role when the Super Eagles won their group matches against Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea Bissau. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) is shown a yellow card in the 20th minute. Struck by many absences, including 12 players testing positive for COVID-19, Tunisia proved tougher for the Super Eagles than expected.
While Tunisians have two goals on target, Nigeria had none in the first half. The Super Eagles were the only side to get the maximum points in the group stage. Nigeria started the campaign with a 1-0 win over record champions Egypt, followed by a 3-1 victory over Sudan, and concluded the group with a 2-0 win against Guinea Bissau.
Champions in 1980, 1994, and 2013, the group stage maximum tally and entertaining performances are expected to give the Super Eagles the needed morale boost in their hunt for a fourth AFCON title.
Nigeria and Tunisia are meeting for the sixth time at the Africa Cup of Nations, with four of the previous five matches being played in knock-out games. Nigeria are unbeaten in all five (W3 D2, excluding shoot-outs).
Tunisia’s only successful AFCON meeting with Nigeria came in 2004, when they progressed via penalties in the semi-finals after the match finished level, going on to win the competition that year.