AFCON 2024: Super Eagles reach 100 games – can you remember the milestone goals?

The Super Eagles went into their third group game at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, setting a new milestone as they played their 100th match in the competition since the team debuted at the 1963 edition.

The Jose Peseiro-led Super Eagles needed just a point from their last group game to secure qualification.

Ultimately, they finished second behind leaders Equatorial Guinea, who finished on the same number of points as the Eagles but with a superior goal difference following their 4-0 thumping of tournament hosts Ivory Coast in the other group game played simultaneously.

History is likely to repeat itself for the hosts as it happened back in 1984 when they last hosted the event – they won their opening game and went on to lose the next two, confirming their exit from the tournament.

The Super Eagles knew what it had to do to qualify and secured a Round of 16 spot with a win against the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau and will be getting set to play the runners-up from Group C when the knockout phases begin.

Nigeria vs Guinea Bissau
Photo by Icon Sport

According to veteran sports statistician Kunle Solaja, the milestone wasn't the only one achieved by the team; they also scored their 140th goal in the history of AFCON against the Djurtus.

Super Eagles goalscorers in AFCON history

Interestingly, it wasn't scored by a Nigerian player as an own goal by Opa Sangante was enough to secure the win.

The first player to score for Nigeria in an Africa Cup of Nations was Asuquo Ekpe in a 6-3 loss against Egypt in Kumasi, Ghana.

In the history of AFCON, Muda Lawal scored Nigeria's 10th goal in a 1-1 draw against Guinea back in 1976.

Eyo Martins scored the only goal which was Nigeria's 20th in a 1-2 loss to Uganda in 1978. Stephen Keshi scored Nigeria's 30th at the 1982 AFCON, Muda Lawal scored the 40th in 1984, and the gangling striker Rashid Yekini scored the 50th and the 60th in the 1990 and 1994 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, respectively.

The 70th goal was scored by Victor Ikpeba in Lagos when Nigeria co-hosted the tournament with Ghana in a 4-2 win over Tunisia in the year 2000.

Julius Aghahowa scored the 80th goal for the Eagles in a 1-0l win over Algeria in 2002, with John Utaka scoring the 90th over Benin Republic in 2004 when Tunisia hosted it. Still, in 2004, Austin Jay Jay Okocha scored the milestone 1,000th goal in the Africa Cup of Nations history when he converted from the penalty spot in the 4-0 defeat of South Africa.

About 18 years ago in Egypt, Obinna Nsofor scored Nigeria’s 100th goal when he found the back of the net in a quarter-final match against Tunisia in a game that was later decided on penalties, with Nigeria advancing.

It was the same man who registered the country's 110th goal four years later in Angola in a 1-0 win over Algeria.

Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Ahmed Musa scored the 120th goal for Nigeria in a 4-1 win over Mali when the team went all the way to lifting the trophy in South Africa back in 2013, and Odion Ighalo scored the 130th goal in a win over Tunisia in the 2019 edition hosted by Egypt.

The Super Eagles will be looking to improve on their scoring inside the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium in Abidjan during their Round of 16 tie.

So far, the team has only managed to score just three goals in Ivory Coast.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.