AFCON 2023: Jay Jay Okocha Names Three Factors That Will Decide Ivory Coast vs Nigeria

AFCON 2023: Jay Jay Okocha Names Three Factors That Will Decide Ivory Coast vs Nigeria

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at January 18, 2024 at 8:00 AM
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  • Nigeria face Ivory Coast on Thursday, looking to register their first 2023 AFCON win
  • Jay-Jay Okocha expects a tough encounter and named factors that could decide the tie
  • Nigeria drew their first game with Equatorial Guinea, while Ivory Coast beat Guinea-Bissau

Ivory Coast and Nigeria will clash on Thursday, January 18, in a massive Group A showdown.

Jay-Jay Okocha has previewed the match and listed three key factors that could decide the game.

Nigeria were held to a frustrating draw with Equatorial Guinea, while hosts Ivory Coast registered a comfortable 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau.

Ibrahim Sangare, Jay-Jay Okocha, Victor Osimhen, Nigeria, AFCON 2023
Jay-Jay Okocha won the AFCON with Nigeria in 1994. Photos by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi, Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency, and Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

Nigeria are under pressure to bounce back after their draw against Equatorial Guinea. Therefore, a defeat could be disastrous for the three-time AFCON winners.

The Elephants will be cheered on by tens of thousands of fans, so they will be looking to register a win for their fans. Jean-Louis Gasset’s side is hoping to win their first two AFCON games for the first time since 2013, per Opta Analyst.

The hosts last won the title in 2015 and failed to live up to expectations in the following years. However, the Super Eagles have had their problems too.

They failed to qualify for some of the tournaments after winning it in 2013, and when they participated, their performances were not as impressive as many expected.

Okocha on Ivory Coast vs Nigeria

These two last met in 2015, in a friendly game won by Ivory Coast. Okocha listed three factors that could decide the winner of the contest.

"I think what the key will be is experience, desire and state of mind. For me, they are professionals, and they know the importance of this match, I think their mindset will be the key," he said per CAF.

Okocha was impressed with what he saw in the first game against Equatorial Guinea.

"I think we didn't really play bad like many people say. There were a lot of positive things that were seen in the match. The only problem is that we didn’t take our opportunities. We created a lot of chances, which is a positive aspect for me. That’s the sign of a good team."

Iwobi on Nigeria draw vs Equatorial Guinea

After the match, Alex Iwobi also exclusively spoke to Sports Brief about Nigeria's frustrating draw with Equatorial Guinea.

The Fulham forward said they created chances, which were ultimately not converted, but also called it 'one of those days'.

Jose Peseiro's side face hosts Ivory Coast in their next match and will need to improve if they are to make the next round.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
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.