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“We didn’t come to win Nigeria” — Cote d’Ivoire coach

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In a closely contested Group A clash at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan, the Cote d’Ivoire national football team faced serious setback from Nigeria in a 1-0 defeat in Thursday’s AFCON group stage tie.

The Elephants, aiming for their second consecutive victory at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after triumphing over Guinea-Bissau in their opener, struggled to assert themselves against the Super Eagles.

The turning point came in the second half when the Ivorian side conceded a penalty, expertly converted by Nigeria’s captain, William Troost-Ekong, securing the lone goal of the match.

Despite a spirited effort and nine minutes of stoppage time, the hosts failed to break down the resilient Super Eagles, marking Nigeria’s first victory on Ivory Coast soil in 10 attempts.

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Ivory Coast vs Nigeria highlight: Troost-Ekong penalty help Nigeria defeat Ivory Coast – BBC News Pidgin

Reflecting on the match, Cote d’Ivoire’s head coach, Jean Louis Gasset, acknowledged the challenges posed by Nigeria’s defensive strategy.

Super Eagles’ head coach, Jose Peseiro, opted for a tactical 3-4-3 formation that effectively stifled the attacking prowess of the Elephants.

Gasset conceded that his team struggled with the physicality of the Nigerians, emphasizing the tightly contested nature of the encounter.

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“It was a very physical match; Nigeria chose to play very low with a five-man defense to exploit counterattacks with their star striker. It was a tightly contested match,” remarked Gasset in the post-game analysis.

The Ivorian coach pointed out the small details that favored Nigeria in the encounter.

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