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Nigeria’s Afcon 2023 rivals maintain perfect run in World Cup qualifiers



While the Super Eagles are yet to find their wings in the qualifying series for the 2025 World Cup, all their Group A rivals in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations are revelling.

Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea continued their winning streak in the World Cup qualifiers by defeating Gambia and Liberia, respectively, on Monday.

After their impressive 9-0 victory over Seychelles in the Group F opener on Friday, Côte d’Ivoire secured a 2-0 away win against Gambia.

Fiorentina forward Christian Kouame scored the opening goal just before half time, and Seko Fofana doubled the lead four minutes from time.

Côte d’Ivoire currently lead the group with maximum six points on level with Gabon, who defeated Burundi 2-1 on Sunday.


In Group H where another Nigerian Afcon opponents feature, Equatorial Guinea skipper Emilio Nsue Lopez found the net early in the 9th minute, leading his team to a narrow 1-0 victory over ten-man Liberia in Paynesville.

Equatorial Guinea sit at the top of the group with six points from two games, three points ahead of Tunisia and Malawi, who have three points from a single game. Malawi will host Tunisia on Tuesday.

Nigeria’s third group opponents at the AFCON, Guinea-Bissau continues to impress in the World Cup qualifiers with a 1-0 away win over Djibouti, moving into second place in Group A with four points.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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