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BREAKING: Furman thumbs up Super Eagles 5-star show against Ivory Coast

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Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman has gushed over the Super Eagles’ defensive performance during their 1-0 victory against Ivory Coast in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations cracker. The three-time African champions needed a response after an underwhelming 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in their first match at the ongoing tournament in Ivory Coast.

Central defender William Troost-Ekong, wearing the captain’s armband, smashed home the winner from the penalty spot ten minutes into the second half after Nigeria’s marquee player Victor Osimhen had been fouled in the box.

There were some brilliant defensive displays from Semi Ajayi, Frank Onyeka and Troost-Ekong, and a special mention also went to Calvin Bassey on his starting debut at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Furman highlighted that the Super Eagles, better known for having a prolific strike force led by Osimhen, defied the odds by putting in a brilliant defensive performance and frustrated their opponents.

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Speaking to reporters, Furman stated: “They were outstanding – a performance that maybe we’ve not come accustomed to.

“From the Nigerians, it was a real tactical masterclass! They were set up in a 5-4-1 (3-4-3) formation and it worked to a tee.

“Back five, every single one of them put their hand up and said there’s no way you’re getting through us today Ivory Coast. On the break they were a threat.

“There were some top, top performances, it really is a statement win and I know the feeling of the statement win, those players will get back into the dressing room, they will look around and say we can beat the top nation in the competition.”

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Furman was in the South African team beaten 2-1 by Nigeria in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

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