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#AFCON2023: 5 things learnt in Super Eagles victory against Guinea-Bissau

After a not too impressive start to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles have qualified for the round of 16.

A 1-0 win against Guinea-Bissau in their final Group A sealed the ticket for the next round.

Following the hard fought win, here are five things learnt about the Eagles against Guinea-Bissau.

– The Super Eagles goalkeeping department look to have been sorted out

Prior to the commencement of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations one area that was a cause for concern in the Super Eagles was the goalkeeping department.

But so far so good as new first choice Stanley Nwabali continues to impress.

It is now back-to-back clean sheets for the Chippa United star which will only make him continue to grow in confidence.

– The defence seems to be the strongest department

Just like the goalkeeping department, another area in the Super Eagles which gave a lot of football fans worry is the defence.

Coming into the competition, the Eagles had conceded in six consecutive games.

But after three games the Super Eagles defence is one of the stingiest having conceded just one goal after three games.

It is evident the coaching crew had put in a lot of work because the stability and assurance is clear for all to see.

But the real test for the defence will be in the knockout stage and hopefully they will be able to hold their own.

Nigeria’s forward #9 Victor Osimhen (L) fights for the ball with Guinea-Bissau’s defender #22 Opa Sangante during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group A football match between Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 22, 2024. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

– The midfield is still a worry

If there is one department that is still a cause for worry in the Super Eagles is the midfield and the earlier the coaching crew find a solution the better for the team.

The Eagles is always known to parade very skillful and effective midfielders but the same thing cannot be said about this current side.

What the Eagles have are just hardworking midfielders who are technically deficient.

If the Eagles still have the ambition of going far in this AFCON that is one area that still need urgent attention.

– Converting scoring chances remains an issue

The game against Guinea-Bissau once again exposed the wastefulness of the Super Eagles.

Aside from Osimhen’s goal against Equatorial Guinea in the 1-1 draw, the Eagles have failed to score from open play, relying on a penalty against Côte d’Ivoire and an own goal in the win against Guinea-Bissau.

Now, the team is heading to the knockout round where there wouldn’t be a second chance. This means they must try and convert their scoring chances when they come their way.

Nigeria’s defender #3 Zaidu Sanusi (R) fights for the ball with Guinea-Bissau’s defender #5 Houboulang Mendes (L) during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group A football match between Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 22, 2024. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

– Osimhen remains Super Eagles scoring threat

Just like in the games against Equatorial Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, Victor Osimhen showed once again that he is still the main threat for the Eagles in terms of scoring.

In the three goals Jose Peseiro’s men have scored, Osimhen had a hand in them.

He got on the score sheet against Equatorial Guinea-Bissau, drew the foul which saw the Eagles awarded a penalty and forced the Guinea-Bissau player to divert Moses Simon’s cross into his own net due to his presence.

However, it would be important for other players to get involve in that area in order to lessen the burden on the Napoli man.

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