In a dramatic turn of events at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Nigeria’s Super Eagles soar as the highest-ranked team remaining, seizing the spotlight after South Africa’s stunning 2-0 upset over Morocco on Tuesday night.
The unexpected victory over Morocco, the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals, reshuffles the tournament dynamics, leaving seasoned contenders in the dust. Senegal, Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia, previously touted as formidable forces, faltered earlier in the competition, clearing the path for unexpected contenders to emerge.
Morocco entered the clash against South Africa as overwhelming favorites, contrasting sharply with the underdog status of the Bafana Bafana, who faced a challenging journey just to advance from the group stage. However, second-half goals from Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena propelled South Africa to a remarkable triumph over the Atlas Lions, rewriting the tournament’s narrative.
With Morocco’s unceremonious exit, Nigeria ascends as the premier-ranked team at the AFCON, a testament to their resilience and prowess on the pitch. Initially positioned as the sixth-best team at the onset of the competition, the Super Eagles now claim the coveted top spot among the remaining contenders.
Among the eight teams still vying for continental glory, Jose Peseiro’s men lead the pack in FIFA rankings, followed closely by Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, South Africa, Congo DR, Cape Verde, Guinea, and Angola.
As the AFCON unfolds with unpredictability and fervor, the quest for supremacy intensifies, setting the stage for gripping encounters and defining moments that will shape the tournament’s legacy.