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FG hails Super Eagles for AFCON run

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The federal government has lauded the national football team for reaching the final of the 2023 African Cup of Nations, saying the players showed resilience and unity despite losing to host Ivory Coast.

The Super Eagles, who were seeking their fourth continental title and their first since 2013, fell 2-1 to the Elephants on Sunday in Abidjan. William Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria the lead with a header in the first half, but Côte d’ Voire equalized through Franck Kessie in the second half and snatched the winner in stoppage time through Sebastien Haller.

In a statement, Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris congratulated the players, coaches and officials for flying the Nigerian flag high and fighting their way to the final. He said the government and the people of Nigeria appreciated their efforts and continued to believe in them.

“We know that the best is yet to come. We will try again,” Idris said.

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“That we got to the final for the first time since 2013 proves that nothing shall be impossible for Nigeria when we are united as one nation behind one purpose under God.”

He also conveyed the message of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who expressed his pride and support for the team.

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Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, has a passionate fan base for football, the most popular sport in the country. The Super Eagles have won three AFCON titles, in 1980, 1994 and 2013.

The team, coached by Portuguese Jose Peseiro, features a mix of young talents and experienced veterans, including African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen, former England Under-21 international Ademola Lookman and captain Troost-Ekong.

The next edition of the AFCON will be held in 2025 in Morocco.

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