Nigeria’s Super Eagles succumbed to a lone goal upset by the Wild Dogs of Guinea Bissau on Friday inside the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, as Serie A highest goal scorer Victor Osimhen failed to score in the encounter.
It was in similar fashion when the star-studded Nigerian side lost to Ghana in the Qatar World Cup last qualifying match in 2022.
The Nigerian players dominated the first half playing deep into the opponents’ space but refusing shots at goal with an odd desire to walk the ball into the net.
Mama Samba Balde’s 29th minute goal, a brilliant strike straight from the training ground was the only goal that took Guinea Bissau to the top of AFCON qualification table.
Nigeria’s Coach José Peseiro threw on Paul Onuachu and Moses Simon for Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman at the beginning of the second half, but even as Nigeria created more chances, conversion remained a problem all through.
Defeat meant Nigeria slipped to second place while the Djurtus climbed top, with seven points to the Eagles’ six, ahead of the two teams’ confrontation in Bissau on Monday evening.
The other group members – Sierra Leone are third with two points, while Sao Tome have one point.
Nigeria meet Guinea Bissau on Monday March 27 at the Estadio 24 De Setembro in Bissau in the reverse matches and Ref Samir Guezzez of Morocco will be in charge of the match.
Although Guinea Bissau look like minnows in African football, Nigeria have won AFCON thrice.
They defeated Algeria in Lagos 1980, beat Zambia in 1994 and Burkina Faso in 2013.
Nigeria lost in the final to Cameroun in 1984 and 1988; lost to Algeria in 1990, again to Cameroun in 2000.
Egypt is the most successful in Men’s football, winning seven times in 1957 beating Ethiopia; 1959 beat Sudan; 1986 defeated Cameroon; beat South Africa in 1998; dismissed Ivory Coast in 2006 before Cameroun bowed in 2008 and then Ghana in 2010.
Ghana won four times in 1963; 1965; 1978 and 1982 but lost in the finals in 1968; 1970; 1992; 2010 and 2015.
Senegal are currently defending Champions of the continental showpiece.
Heritage Times HT reports that they were grinding Mozambique 4-0 in an AFCON qualifier as at the time of writing this piece.