AFCON 2023: Equatorial Guinea out to upset Nigeria in Group A

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Nigeria will face Equatorial Guinea in the second match of Group A at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

Nigeria are an experienced side as far as the AFCON is concerned. This is their 20th appearance in the competition, and they have three wins, with just three teams having more. They last won it in 2013, when they defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final, and have only reached the semi-finals once since (in 2019).

Nigeria were in the final the last time Ivory Coast hosted the competition, losing to Cameroon in the 1984 edition.

However, in 14 AFCON tournaments since the team’s success in 1994, they have only made it to the final twice.

Nigeria qualified for AFCON 2023 as the Group A victor, beating out Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and So Tomé and Principe. They finished the group with 15 points from six games, with a loss to Guinea-Bissau being the only game they lost during the qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea will be participating in only their second AFCON tournament without being the hosts (their fourth tournament overall, having hosted twice – in 2012 and 2015).

Equatorial Guinea will look to build on a strong qualifying performance after reaching the quarter-finals in each of their previous three AFCON outings.

They were quarter-finalists in 2021 and may be hoping for a repeat result this time around.

This will be the first meeting between these two teams at the AFCON but they did meet in qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with Nigeria winning both matches without conceding a goal (1-0 and 2-0).

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