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We will face Ivory Coast with confidence, says Iwobi after disappointing draw with E/Guinea

Fulham midfielder, Alex Iwobi has promised that the Super Eagles will face Ivory Coast with confidence in their second group game of the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Iwobi said this while speaking to Sports Brief on Sunday after Nigeria began their AFCON campaign with a disappointing 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in their group A opener.

Iban Salvador put Equatorial Guinea 1-0 up in the 36th minute courtesy of an assist from Jose Machin who did very well to displace the Nigerian defenders.

Their lead lasted for only two minutes, though, as Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, who had earlier been selfish by blazing into the sky instead of finding a teammate, got Nigeria’s equaliser.

The Super Eagles made it 1-1 when Atalanta forward, Ademola Lookman, sent in a lovely cross which Osimhen, who was left alone in the Equatoguinean six-yard box, headed into the back of the net.

Nigeria went very close to making it 2-1 on several occasions but they fell short each time and now, they will face Ivory Coast who beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in their next match.

“We are 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,” Iwobi said.

On the next game against Ivory Coast, Iwobi said: “We are going to rest and analyze the game that they played yesterday (Saturday) 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 will be able to get a result.” He also disclosed coach Jose Peseiro’s message to them at halftime on Sunday.

“The coach told us at halftime to be patient and put in more effort and we would be able to create opportunities which we did and unfortunately, we were not able to take out chances.”

He, however, said that injuries to some of their key players such as Victor Boniface, Wilfred Ndidi and Umar Sadiq were not the reason for their disappointing result against Equatorial Guinea.

“Not at all [on whether 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.”

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