The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Thursday, January 18, in a massive Group A encounter at the ongoing 2023 AFCON, Newspremises understands.
Nigerian legend, Jay-Jay Okocha has now given a preview of the anticipated match by highlighting three factors that could determine the game.
Recall that Nigeria were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in their opening game, while hosts Ivory Coast registered a comfortable 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau.
Nigeria are under pressure to bounce back after their draw against Equatorial Guinea. Therefore, a defeat could be disastrous for the three-time AFCON winners.
The Elephants will be cheered on by tens of thousands of fans, so they will be looking to register a win for their fans. Jean-Louis Gasset’s side is hoping to win their first two AFCON games for the first time since 2013, per Opta Analyst.
The hosts last won the title in 2015 and failed to live up to expectations in the following years. The Super Eagles have had their problems too.
They failed to qualify for some of the tournaments after winning it in 2013, and when they participated, their performances were not as impressive as many expected.
Okocha on Ivory Coast vs Nigeria
These two last in 2015, in a friendly game won by Ivory Coast. Okocha listed three factors that could decide the winner of the contest.
“I think what the key will be is experience, desire and state of mind. For me, they are professionals, and they know the importance of this match, I think their mindset will be the key,” per CAF.
Okocha was impressed with what he saw in the first game against Equatorial Guinea.
“I think we didn’t really play bad like many people say. There were a lot of positive things that were seen in the match. The only problem is that we didn’t take our opportunities. We created a lot of chances, which is a positive aspect for me. That’s the sign of a good team.”