AFCON 2024 – Group A: Teams, favourites and standings

The Super Eagles of Nigeria, Ivory Coast (host country), Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau make up Group A of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024).

This year's continental finals are also sometimes called AFCON 2023, since it was originally scheduled to take place last year, but was postponed until January-February 2024.

In this article, we give you all the information about this group.

AFCON 2024 Group A teams

Ivory Coast
Equatorial Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Nigeria

AFCON 2024 Group A schedule

The six Group A matches will take place in Abidjan.

Day 1:

  • 13 January, 9 p.m: Ivory Coast vs Guinea-Bissau, Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium
  • 14 January, 3 p.m: Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea, Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium

Day 2:

  • 18 January, 3 p.m: Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau, Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium
  • 18 January, 6 p.m: Ivory Coast vs Nigeria, Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium

Day 3:

  • 22 January, 6 p.m: Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium
  • 22 January, 6 p.m: Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria, Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny

Analysis of the teams in Group A:

Nigeria

The Super Eagles of Nigeria enter this group as favourites. With three AFCON titles to their name (2013, 1994, 1980), they have a rich history in the competition. With an impressive offensive armada, Nigeria's current squad seems well-equipped to navigate this group successfully; even if their last two matches have been frankly unconvincing (1-1 draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe).

However, it's important to note that the Super Eagles had a great qualifying campaign, where they finished at the top of their group with five wins in six matches.

Ivory Coast

As host country, Ivory Coast finds itself in a double-edged position. Historically, AFCON host teams have rarely won the tournament in front of their home crowd, with Egypt in 2006 being the last exception. However, the Elephants, under the direction of Jean-Louis Gasset, have the opportunity to break this trend.

The first couple of matches will be crucial to assess Ivory Coast's real abilities. The Elephants got some momentum going ahead of this tournament; as they're coming off back-to-back wins over the Gambia (2-0) and Seychelles (9-0).

AFCON 2024
Credit: Icon Sport

Equatorial Guinea

While they're not as highly rated as the Super Eagles and Elephants, Equatorial Guinea is certainly no pushover. They had an impressive record in the qualifying rounds, winning four of six group games, with a draw and a loss (one of those wins was against Tunisia).

Equatorial Guinea's objective will be to destabilise the two favourites and try to qualify for the knockout stages, as they did during their three previous participations in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Equatorial Guinea team photo
Credit: Icon Sport

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau are an outsider in this group. Regularly participating in the final stages since their first appearance in 2017, the Djurtus have been eliminated in the first round each time. Their chances seem slim against teams like Ivory Coast and Nigeria, but recent AFCON history shows that surprises are always possible.

It may interest you to know that Guinea-Bissau were in the same qualifying group as Nigeria, and they defeated the Super Eagles in one of their two encounters.

Guinea-Bissau team photo
Credit: Icon Sport

Group A: How the teams fared in previous editions

Ivory Coast

25 appearances
Best performance: Winner in 1992 and 2015

Nigeria

19 appearances
Best performance: Winner in 1980, 1994 and 2013

Guinea-Bissau

Three appearances
Best performance: First round in 2017, 2019 and 2021

Equatorial Guinea

Three appearances
Best performance: 4th in 2015

Group A AFCON 2024: History of clashes

Ivory Coast and Nigeria, the two favourites of the group, faced each other six times at the Africa Cup of Nations. The first time was in 1980, ending in a goalless draw. In 1990, Nigeria took the upper hand (1-0), during another group stage meeting.

In 1994, an epic semi-final ended with a victory for the Super Eagles on penalties (2-2, 4 – 2). Ivory Coast then took revenge in 2006 (1-0 victory), again in a semi-final. In 2008, the Elephants repeated their success with another 1–0 success, this time in the group stage. The quarter-finals of the 2013 edition saw Nigeria win 2-1 and subsequently clinch the title.

Interestingly, the Super Eagles won three AFCON titles, and they faced Ivory Coast en route to those titles. These historic clashes demonstrate the intensity and high level of competition between these two nations.

Group A standings

Group A
# Team P W D L +/- Points
1

Equatorial Guinea

3 2 1 0 6 7
2 Nigeria

Nigeria

3 2 1 0 2 7
3 Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

3 1 0 2 -3 3
4 Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau

3 0 0 3 -5 0
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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.