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Guinea Bissau stun Nigeria in Abuja in AFCON qualifier

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Nigeria line up before the match. PHOTO/Nigeria FA
  • Guinea Bissau beat Nigeria 1-0 in Abuja
  • They went on top of Group A with the result
  • The return fixture is set for next week

Guinea Bissau stunned Nigeria in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, hitting the Super Eagles 1-0 infront of their home fans in Abuja.

Mama Samba Balde scored the solitary strike, Guinea Bissau making the most of their lean possession of the ball with a stunning victory over the Super Eagles.

The victory away from home saw the Djurtus scale top of the group with seven points, one ahead of Nigeria who lost their first match in the qualifiers. The two sides meet again next week.

Guinea Bissau head coach Baciro Cande was delighted with the performance by his players, saying they are keen to complete the job in their backyard when the two sides face off again in the return tie next week.

A win for them will assure them of a place in Ivory Coast.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game and having watched them play in the previous matches, we knew they love scoring early to destabilize the opponents. We made sure we didn’t concede early and we scored a good goal and kept the lead. I am delighted with the players,” Cande said after the match.

Nigeria had lined up a strong team in Abuja, with the forward line led by Napoli striker Victor Osimhen who is currently enjoying the form of his life.

Nigeria with a strong line up 

The lanky striker was presented with a glorious chance just 16 minutes into the match when Kelechi Iheanacho sent him through on goal with a peach of a through ball. However, his first touch took him too close to the keeper and his attempt to clip the ball over the custodian was blocked.

The visitors broke the deadlock in the 29th minute, Balde picking a long ball behind the defense from Opa Sangante before sliding the ball past Francis Uzoho.

They should have doubled their advantage nine minutes from halftime when Fali Cande picked up Eucidalcio Gomes with a brilliant cross-field ball, but the latter hit the side netting despite sitting the keeper and a defender down.

In the second half, Nigeria threw in their all to battle to get back into the game but they were unsuccessful with Samuel Chukwueze coming close twice with curling shots that sailed wide while substitute Paul Onuachu had a header bounce inches off the target.

Cameroon held to draw by Namibia

Meanwhile, Cameroon remained on top of Group C with four points after playing to a 1-1 draw with Namibia. The group has three teams, as Kenya was booted out due to the then FIFA suspension.

Namibia are second in the group with two points following back to back draws.

The Indomitable Lions would have confirmed their place in the Cup of Nations had they picked victory at home, but they had to fight back from a goal down to claw a point. On-form Mamelodi Sundowns forward Peter Shalulile had given the Namibians a shock 26th minute lead, but Cameroon equalized in the 72nd minute through Oliver Kemen.

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