AFCON Qualifier: Guinea Bissau beat Nigeria 1-0 in Abuja
On game week three of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series, Guinea-Bissau claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the MKO Abiola Stadium despite the Super Eagles’ absence of Napoli star Victor Osimhen.
Mama Samba Balde’s brilliant goal in the 29th minute propelled Guinea Bissau’s Wild Dogs to the top of their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification standing.
Nigerian incursions early on did not pay off. A quick rearguard blocked Samuel Chukwueze’s shot in the seventh minute, defender Bright Osayi-grounder Samuel’s was deflected away from goal in the second minute, Victor Osimhen struck goalkeeper Jonas Mendes in the body with 16 minutes remaining.
Alfa Semedo Esteves had to be stopped in the box by Wilfred Ndidi in the final quarter of an hour after the visitors had threatened. That warning went unheeded by the Super Eagles’ defense, and 14 minutes later, when Fali Cande launched a long forward thrust that eluded the attention of both Calvin Bassey and Kevin Akpoguma, Balde quickly spotted it, expertly controlled the ball, and flicked it past advancing Francis Uzoho for the game’s lone goal.
At the start of the second half, coach José Peseiro substituted Paul Onuachu and Moses Simon for Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman, but despite Nigeria creating more opportunities, conversion remained a problem.
In the 56th minute, Osimhen was through on goal when Simon missed from six yards, drawing gasps from the crowd. Mendes then made a spectacular save on Osimhen. With 12 minutes left, Paul Onuachu’s header flew away from the goal after Chukwueze misfired on a few chances.
Before the two teams’ matchup in Bissau on Monday night, the Djurtus moved into first place and the Eagles dropped to second as a result of the loss, with seven points to the Super Eagles’ six.