Super Eagles AFCON 2024 permutations: What do Nigeria need to do to qualify for the next round?

What must Nigeria do to qualify for the next round of AFCON? That is undoubtedly the question at the top of every Super Eagles supporter's mind.

The business end of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) is here, with the final round of group-stage matches starting on Monday, 22 January.

Surprisingly, all four teams in Group A could still advance to the next round after playing two matches each.

AFCON 2024 Super Eagles
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What do Super Eagles need to do to qualify?

Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria currently occupy the top two positions in Group A, each with four points.

Ivory Coast are in third place, having earned three points despite their loss to Nigeria.

Despite not securing any points in their group, Guinea-Bissau still have a chance to advance to the next round.

After two matches for each team in Group A, a three-way competition has emerged among the host nation Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea for the two automatic qualification spots.

Equatorial Guinea currently lead with four points, securing the top spot after defeating Guinea-Bissau 4-2.

They hold the tie-breaker over the Super Eagles, who also have four points, having surpassed Ivory Coast by winning their Matchday 2 encounter 1-0.

Ivory Coast stand in third place with three points, while Guinea-Bissau sit at the bottom with no points.

Despite having no points, Guinea-Bissau still have a chance to advance to the last 16, as the top four third-placed teams at AFCON 2024 will secure spots in the knockout round.

To achieve this, they must defeat the Super Eagles and hope that two third-placed teams in other groups do not match their three-point total.

Nigeria only need a draw to secure qualification for the last 16.

Super Eagles nigeria
Photo by Icon Sport

How can Nigeria claim top spot in their AFCON 2024 group?

Winning against Guinea-Bissau will ensure they top Group A, provided Equatorial Guinea fail to beat Ivory Coast in the other match.

Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, only require a draw against Ivory Coast to advance.

They will top the group if they win against Ivory Coast and the Super Eagles fail to beat Guinea-Bissau.

If both Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea win, the team with the higher goal difference will claim the top spot.

Ivory Coast can ensure qualification for the Round of 16 by defeating Equatorial Guinea on Matchday 3.

This result will see them finish first (if Nigeria don't win the other match) or second (if Nigeria win against Guinea-Bissau) in Group A.

A draw will secure third place for Ivory Coast, with four points, and they will advance to the knockout round if two third-placed teams in other groups fail to match their total.

Super Eagles AFCON 2024 permutations: What do Nigeria need to do to qualify for the next round?
Barend Prins

Barend has covered nearly every sport under the sun at some point, but has focused mostly on football over the last decade. He is a keen Liverpool fan whose heart has also been broken by the South African cricket team many times. In his spare time, Barend dreams of helping George RR Martin finish A Song of Ice and Fire.