Nigeria is gearing up for its second Group A match at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, facing Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.
With a rich history in the tournament, Nigeria enters their 20th AFCON appearance with three previous wins, the last one dating back to 2013 against Burkina Faso.
Despite their experience, Nigeria has struggled to reach the finals in recent years, making it only twice in 14 tournaments since their success in 1994.
The last time Ivory Coast hosted in 1984, Nigeria reached the final but faced defeat against Cameroon.
Qualifying as the Group A victor for AFCON 2023, Nigeria overcame Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and São Tomé and Príncipe, securing 15 points from six games.
Their only loss during the qualifiers came against Guinea-Bissau.
Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, is set to participate in only their fourth AFCON tournament, having hosted twice previously.
After a strong qualifying performance, reaching the quarter-finals in the last three AFCON outings, Equatorial Guinea eyes another impressive run.
Having been quarter-finalists in 2021, Equatorial Guinea aims to replicate their success in the current edition. This encounter with Nigeria marks their second AFCON appearance without hosting.
While this will be the first AFCON meeting between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, the teams have history in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Nigeria emerged victorious in both encounters, securing 1-0 and 2-0 wins without conceding a goal.
As the two sides prepare for their clash on Sunday, AFCON 2023 promises an exciting battle between Nigeria’s seasoned squad and Equatorial Guinea’s ambitions to make a mark in the tournament.