Tunisia have caused an upset in the Africa Cup of Nations by beating Nigeria 1-0 in the round of 16.
The Super Eagles were one of the favourites to win the tournament, but have crashed out following Youssef Msakni’s strike from outsidee of the box early in the second half.
Nigeria’s woes were compounded when Everton winger Alex Iwobi was shown a straight red card (after a VAR review) for a dangerous challenge on goalscorer Msakni just five minutes after coming on as a substitute.
EUROSPORT said the Super Eagles came into the game as one of the favourites, having won all three of their group games, but struggled to impose themselves on the Eagles of Carthage in a cagey first-half that lacked any goalmouth action.
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However, Tunisia struck first and took the lead moments into the second half. Youssef Msakni’s 30-yard effort snuck into the net, as Nigeria goalkeeper Maduka Okoye fumbled the shot and could not keep it out.
Things went from bad to worse for the Super Eagles as second half substitute Alex Iwobi was shown a straight red card for serious foul play following a VAR check after a dangerous challenge on Msakni’s ankle.
The Tunisians held on to secure a priceless victory, and only their second win of the tournament.
TALKING POINT – ANOTHER AFCON SHOCK
The 2021 edition of the African Cup of Nations has seen many shocks, and another has been added to that list as Nigeria follow Algeria and Ghana out of the tournament, and they are going home with a whimper.
The talk pre-match was of the amount of disruption caused by a Covid-19 outbreak in the Tunisia camp, which may have caused some complacency in the Nigeria dressing room. Regardless, the Super Eagles did not turn up tonight, and struggled to deal with Tunisia’s compact shape off the ball.
Considering they were one of the tournament favourites, and had an excellent run of results in the group stage, there no doubt will be discussions behind the scenes amongst those at the Nigeria Football Federation to find out what went wrong.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – YOUSSEF MSAKNI