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Nigeria brightened the chance of qualification to next round of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations after a tense battle against hosts Ivory Coast following a second half goal by William Troost –Ekong.

Nigeria had gone into the match obviously on a tight rope after drawing 1-1 in their opening game against Equatorial Guinea which a defeat would have seen the team crawling to the road of exit from the tournament. But reigning African Player of The Year Victor Osimhen en route to the penalty was brilliant, having shown strength in edging out an Ivorian defender to gain advantage in the goal bound move before he was kicked down.

He remained in the box before and replay’s show Diomande may have caught him. The moment of big decision was coming up as referee Mustapha Ghorbal goes to the pitch side monitor. The 55 minute VAR checking-. Mustapha Ghorbal runs back on and points to the spot.

The crowd reacted in their feelings about the decision while the big giant and captain of the Super Eagles Troost –Ekong was at the 12 yard mark. No stopping that he struck and scored to silence the home crowd.

Nigeria moves four points in two games with Ivory Coast in three points, while the former African champion will face Guinea- Bissau while the Elephants will battle Equatorial Guinea at the same time on Monday.

Nigeria will be counting on Victor Osimhen to replicate his top form having scored a goal in the current tournament and won the Man of The Match against Ivory Coast. Although Fulham star Calvin Bassey was rock for Nigeria putting proper shift and sterling- enjoying the battle , Ainatoo was brilliant at the right wing back and Nigeria’s goalkeeper Nwabali ‘’next Enyeama’’ was outstanding in the match.

With the final Group A match up on Monday and Equatorial Guinea meeting Ivory Coast. The Elephants horn will beam to Fofana, Ndicka and Diomande to deliver anticipatory victory for the hosts. Obviously the pressure is on Ivory Coast and a defeat could see the adored team by former Ivory Coast international and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba out of the tournament.

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