Victor Osimhen scored a first half equaliser yet the Super Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw in their Africa Cup of Nations Group A opener with Equatorial Guinea in Abidjan on Sunday January 14. The Nigerians were unsuccessful in getting the three points.
Iban Salvador scored an unexpected opener for Equatorial Guinea contrary to the rules with a very much worked goal, but the lead lasted for only two minutes before Napoli forward Osimhen headed Nigeria level.
The Super Eagles took over the game after but found Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Jesus Owono in fine form as he made a few exceptional saves, to go with some unfortunate wrapping up.
Nigeria next game is against hosts Ivory Coast in a possibly crucial match on Thursday, while Equatorial Guinea face Guinea-Bissau, who lost 2-0 to the Ivorians in Saturday’s competition opening game.
Nigeria’s Zaidu missed an open goal at the back post when a cross from the right escaped everybody and fell merciful to him, but he slanted his shot high and wide.
Equatorial Guinea started to lead the pack on 36 minutes with a fine completion from Salvador.
A terrible defending saw Nigeria fail to clear the ball and when Salvador was prepared by Jose Machin 18 yards from goal, he side-footed a shot into the base corner with a clinical finish.
However, the lead lasted just two minutes as Nigeria hit back very quickly. Winger Ademola Lookman draped up a cross from the left to the back post and Osimhen had the simplest of headed finishes to score his 21st international goal.
Moses Simon then, at that point, constrained a decent low save from Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Jesus Owono when his shot looked bound for the base corner as both teams went to the break at 1-1.
Zaidu had one more great opportunity for Nigeria from the get-go in the second half, but went straight to the goalkeeper, before Osimhen was denied by the top of the Alaves gloveman.