Super Eagles fail final test before AFCON 2023

Nigeria's Super Eagles lost 2-0 to familiar foes, the Syli National of Guinea, in a pre-AFCON 2023 friendly played inside the Bani Yas Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Monday.

The last meeting between the two sides was in the 2019 AFCON held in Egypt, and the Super Eagles ran out 1-0 winners, with Kenneth Omeruo scoring the only goal of the match.

The three-time African champions were made to pay for failing to convert their chances in the game and were undone by goals from Aguibou Camara in the 15th minute and Facinet Conte's goal in the 65th minute. The defeat came barely 24 hours after the team had put 12 goals past a third-tier local team.

Super Eagles far from convincing ahead of AFCON 2023

Nigeria had gotten a lifeline in the game when they were awarded a penalty by the referee, but Nantes' Moses Simon failed to convert from the penalty spot, and the Guineans ran out with a 1-0 lead at halftime.

The team stepped up the fight for an equalizer, with Simon trying pretty hard to redeem himself by creating more chances alongside other players like Samuel Chukwueze and Chidozie Awaziem, who all came close.

Despite several changes made by manager Jose Peseiro in a bid to restore parity in the game, the Syli National team held on for a morale-boosting win over the three-time African champions.

Nigeria will be looking to shake off the disappointment when they return hom on Tuesday before jetting out to Ivory Coast on Wednesday. They will look to bounce back to winning ways in her opening Group A clash against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, 14 January.

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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.