Nigerian goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, has expressed his deep disappointment following the Super Eagles’ 2-1 loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final, held on Sunday.
The match, which ended in a heartbreaking defeat for Nigeria, dashed the team’s hopes of clinching continental glory in the closing moments. Despite taking an early lead with a powerful header from William Troost-Ekong in the 18th minute, the Super Eagles’ dreams were shattered as Cote d’Ivoire fought back, equalizing in the 63rd minute and securing the winner in the dying minutes of the match, at the 87th-minute mark.
The final, hosted at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, was an emotional rollercoaster for both teams and their supporters. While the hosts and their fans celebrated the late victory with jubilation, for Nigeria, it led to a somber reflection on missed opportunities.
Sharing a picture of himself looking disheartened on the pitch, Nwabali penned a candid caption on Instagram, apologizing to Nigerians for the disappointing outcome. He acknowledged the frustration felt by fans, emphasizing his understanding as a former supporter himself. Nwabali expressed gratitude for the unwavering support and vowed to take full responsibility for the defeat, concluding with a heartfelt message of appreciation to the fans.