By: Johnny Edward
Super Eagles goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, has offered an apology to fans following Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat to Ivory Coast in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday.
William Troost-Ekong’s header gave Nigeria a first-half lead but Franck Kessie equalised just past the hour-mark after being left unmarked at the back post from a set-piece.
The Ivorians sealed the win nine minutes from time as Sebastien Haller steered in Simon Adingra’s dangerous cross into the net.
The 27-year-old, who made his AFCON debut in Ivory Coast, conceded four goals and kept four clean sheets in his first six games.
Nwabali wrote on his Instagram page, “A disappointing and frustrating end. I deeply apologise to Nigerians.”
Nwabali, who became a fans favourite following his excellent displays, also praised Eagles fans for their support throughout the tournament
He said, “I’m a fan and I understand how it feels to give you a disappointing night. We take full responsibility. Thanks for the whole support till the end. I love you all.”
Nigeria are three-time winners of the AFCON, but the West African giants have now lost five finals — in 1984, 1988, 1990, 2000, and 2023.