By: Ebenezer Bajela
Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, has commended the Super Eagles following their second-place finish at the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Nigeria navigated their way past Cameroon, Angola and South Africa in the knockout rounds to secure their spot in Sunday’s final, while Ivory Coast overcame Senegal, Mali and Congo.
The Eagles lost 2-1 to the Elephants, who completed a fairytale comeback after stumbling through the early stages and being handed the heaviest defeat ever suffered by a host country.
William Troost-Ekong’s 38th-minute header sent Nigeria ahead in the showpiece event, but Franck Kessie levelled score in the 62nd minute before Sebastian Haller netted the winner in the 81st minute.
Ivory Coast secured the trophy for just the third time in their history, following on from their successes in 1992 and 2015, but it proved to be the final heartbreak for three-time winners Nigeria.
The defeat left many Nigerians in tears, with some launching scathing attacks on the Eagles, forcing Fulham midfielder, Alex Iwobi, to delete all his Instagram posts.
However, Enoh was full of praise for Jose Peseiro’s men, saying the country was proud of them.
“We have reached the end of AFCON 2023, and I want to express my gratitude to the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the entire team who brought us this far. I applaud your commitment to winning, which led us to the final,” Enoh wrote on X.
“Dear Super Eagles of Nigeria, you have won our hearts and evoked our admiration. We present you with your well-deserved accolades for standing for Nigeria until the end.
“We are proud of you. You took the silver, and we congratulate you and wish you all the best.