AFCON 2023: ‘Let This Passing Event Not Dispirit Us,’ Tinubu Hails Super Eagles

The Super Eagles were praised by President Bola Tinubu for their resilient performance in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final in Côte d'Ivoire.

Nigeria lost 1-2 on Sunday night against the hosts after giving up a first-half lead.

Nevertheless, following the match, Tinubu thanked the team, the coach, the crew, and the entire management in a statement provided by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, for their diligence, sacrifice, and hard work in getting this far in the tournament.

As they advanced to the finals, he also recognised the obstacles they continuously overcame with progressively better performances.

Instead of depressing us, let this fleeting incident unite us to strive even harder. The green-white-green triangle unites our wonderful country banner of resilience, joy, hope, duty, and untiring love,” the statement read.

"To those beloved Nigerian youths who are using their gifts to express themselves in their communities and draw lines in the sand while playing football in their little rectangles of play—you have the potential to become our heroes one day; never give up on your goals. The President continued, "My administration is here to realise dreams.

After losing 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea on January 22, the team was on the verge of elimination in the group stage. Their victory on Sunday is an amazing accomplishment.

The Ivorians lost by their greatest margin at home ever after that, and they fired coach Jean-Louis Gasset in favour of Drogba's 2006 teammate Emerse Fae.

Their incredible comeback then started, as they defeated Mali with a last-second goal and eliminated leaders Senegal on penalties.

After that, they started an incredible comeback that saw them defeat Mali with a last-minute goal in extra time, eliminate holders Senegal on penalties, and defeat DR Congo thanks to a goal from Haller in the final four sets.

The stadium could hold 60,000 spectators, but many had to watch the game from vantage points on the stairwells because of their fervent support.

Anyone hoping to deflate the excitement may have brought up the fact that Cup of Nations finals are typically low-scoring matches.

The last 11 finals saw just 10 goals scored, with five of those ending in penalties following a scoreless draw.

In fact, Ivory Coast had not won any of their four prior final appearances; instead, all four ended in a draw until penalties were used.