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Nigeria beat hosting country Ivory Coast 1-0 

It was a very cagey affair between Nigeria and Ivory coast, but Nigeria was the team that came out on top. The African player of the year Victor Osimhen won a penalty in the 50th minute of the game after Ousmane Diamonde kicked the bottom of his foot in the box, the Nigerian captain William-Troost-Ekong stepped up to score the winning goal after smashing the ball straight down the middle of the goal. This has now put Nigeria top of their group whilst the host nation Ivory coast drop down to 3rd.  

It was a very scrappy start to the game, but the first attempt of the game went to Nigeria as Samuel Chukwueze played a through ball into the feet of Victor Osimhen leaving him 1 on 1 with Yahia Fofana but he didn’t manage to get it on target, and it went out for a goal kick for Ivory Coast. 

In the 10th minute of the game Nigeria had their first corner as chukwueze crossed the ball into the box for Osimhen but Serge Aurier managed to head the ball clear.  

Ivory coast got there first proper chance of the first half when Christian Kouame crossed the ball in from the right side into the feet of Evan Ndicka, but it was a poor attempt for the centre back as it went straight into the goalkeepers’ hands. 

There was another chance for Ivory Coast in the 31st minute as Sesko Fofana took a powerful shot from around 35 yards and the keeper palms into the feet of Kouame who took the shot from close range, but it was eventually called offside.  

A free kick for Nigeria in the 36th minute as Aurier fouls Zaidu Sanusi by the left corner flag, Ademola Lookman crossed in the ball and Semi Ajayi headed the ball just over the bar. 

The second half came to an end with a corner for Nigeria which was won by Ola Aina, it was taken Lookman it went straight to Sanusi in the corner of the box, but the Left back shot the ball straight over the bar.  

The second half started with a head injury to Calvin Bassey as him and Kouame both go to head the ball, but they clash heads instead however Bassey was okay to play on. 

A VAR check in the 51st minute as Osimhen went to kick the ball in the box but the Ivorian Defender Ousmane Diomande kicks the bottom of the Nigerians foot, the referee went to the monitor and gave a penalty to Nigeria. William-Troost-Ekong was the player to step up and take it and he smashed the ball straight down the middle of the goal whilst Fofana dove to his left.  

It was pure dominance from Nigeria in the first half an hour of the second half with a chance for Osimhen after a long throw in from Ola Aina, but the Nigerian striker couldn’t direct the ball on target to trouble Fofana. 

The first subs of the game came in the 65th minute of the game for the ivory coast as Johnathon Bamba comes on for Kouame, Nicolas Pepe comes on for Aurier and Wilfred Singo comes on Jeremie Boga. 

Nigeria made their first sub in the 71st minute as Chukuweze came off for Moses Simon. 

A good attack from Ivory coast as the ball was laid off to Sesko Fofana on the edge of the Nigerian box but the ball just curled around the post. Ivory coast’s confidence was building in the final 15 minutes of the game as Konan won a corner and Diomande won the header but again the ball went just over the bar.  

Nigeria was managing to get a lot of counter attacks towards the end of the game as Osayi- Samuel dribbled from the halfway line and into the Ivory coast box but Diamonde managed to get a last-minute tackle to prevent Nigeria from making it 2-0. 

The first yellow card of the game in the 92nd minute of the game goes to the Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali for time wasting. 

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