AFCON 2023: Alex Iwobi Sends Warning to Ivory Coast After Nigeria’s Draw vs Equatorial Guinea

AFCON 2023: Alex Iwobi Sends Warning to Ivory Coast After Nigeria’s Draw vs Equatorial Guinea

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at January 14, 2024 at 8:37 PM
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  • Nigeria were held to a 1-1 draw of Equatorial Guinea in their opening Africa Cup of Nations game
  • The Super Eagles missed huge chances to win the game and face Ivory Coast in their next game
  • Alex Iwobi has sent a warning to Ivory Coast ahead of their encounter

Nigeria were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Equatorial Guinea in their opening game in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles face hosts Ivory Coast on Thursday, January 18, and Alex Iwobi has sent a message to the Elephants ahead of a monumental showdown.

Alex Iwobi, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, AFCON 2023, Super Eagles, Victor Osimhen
Alex Iwobi and Nigeria couldn't break down Equatorial Guinea's defence. Photo by Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Equatorial Guinea proved to be a tough nut to crack as they stunned the favourites by scoring first. Jose Peseiro's side dominated the early stages but lacked the cutting edge.

In the first half, they created half chances, which they couldn't convert. Nzalang Nacional threatened Nigeria on the counter and capitalized when their opponents failed to clear their lines, per CAF.

Ivan Salvador scored a fine opener in the 36th minute. However, their joy was shortlived as Victor Osimhen leapt the highest to head home the equalizer following Ademola Lookman's deft cross.

In the second half, Nigeria had the better chances but failed to convert any of them. As we've seen already in the tournament, no game is easy.

Nigeria and Peseiro will look to produce a much better performance against hosts Ivory Coast who won their opening match 2-0, per Reuters.

Alex Iwobi's warning to Ivory Coast

The Fulham forward exclusively spoke to Sports Brief about Nigeria's struggles against Equatorial Guinea after the match.

"We're all disappointed. It's just one of those days. We had the opportunities, but we didn't take them, and on another day, they go in, but today wasn't meant to be."

He also disclosed Peseiro's message at halftime.

"The coach told us at halftime to be patient and put in more effort, and we'll be able to create opportunities which we did and unfortunately weren't able to take out chances."

The former Arsenal star said injuries to some of their key players were not the reason for their disappointing result.

"Not at all [on if injuries affected the team] because we are Nigeria, we have a lot of players that are able to play, but of course, we are disappointed to have players missing out with injuries."

Iwobi also said they will be ready to face hosts Ivory Coast who won comfortably on Saturday, January 13.

"We are going to rest and analyze the game that they played yesterday; of course, they started very well, but we don't fear anyone, we are going to go into the game with confidence, and hopefully, we'll be able to get a result."

The Super Eagles cannot afford to lose the game following their draw with Mozambique.

Nigerians unhappy with result

Sports Brief earlier reported on Nigerians airing their thoughts following the draw with Equatorial Guinea

Some of them said the team is not good enough, telling Super Eagles fans to stop dreaming about a fourth AFCON title in Ivory Coast.

Another one added that the result was painful because they are not sure if Nigeria would win their next match.

"The reason why this game is paining me is #NGAEQG we can't be certain we'd win any of our next games🤦‍♂️Victor Osihmen missing two huge chances is just ridiculous."
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Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.