The AFCON kicked off with big footballing nations like Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and the likes tagged as favourites, but so far, it has not gone according to plan for these countries.

Starting off with 2013 AFCON Champions, Nigeria let fans down after their timid display against Equatorial Guinea in their opening match.

AFCON 2023 - Wake-Up Call For African Giants
AFCON 2023 – Wake-Up Call For African Giants

The Super Eagles could have easily won the game by 3 or four goals, but missed opportunities from proven attackers like Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman meant the Eagles dropped points in Abidjan. It was not a convincing display by the Super Eagles as many hoped.

They failed to contain Equatorial Guinea at times, and they struggled to control the game from midfield and also create many clear-cut chances, especially in the first half.

AFCON 2023: Pharaohs Fumble Opening Match

It was a different story for Egypt, but a similar outcome. The Pharaohs took the lead against Mozambique quite early through a fantastic strike from Nantes striker Mostafa Mohamed after just two minutes.

AFCON 2023 - Wake-Up Call For African Giants

Rui Vitoria’s men could not take full control of the game, despite creating some good chances. Mozambique grew into the game and just 13 minutes after the restart they turned the game on its head with two quick goals. Witti scored a fantastic header past Shenawi, and Baque broke through to slot home for 2-1.

However, Egypt got a late Penalty that was converted by Mohamed Salah to deny Mozambique all 3 points.

Sloppy Ghana Beaten

Ghana will need to wake up from their slumber in their next game against Egypt.

The Black Stars were sloppy against Cape Verde and they got punished. First with a rebound goal and later after a defensive mishap that gifted Cape Verde the win.

Cameroon also dropped points in their encounter against Guinea despite dominating the play for so long. The Indomitable Lions could not create many clear-cut chances on the night.

Algeria also went ahead early in their game against Angola, but they could not get a second. The 2019 AFCON Champions conceded a penalty to Angola and the game also ended 1-1

However, in Group E, It started off on the wrong foot for the two heavyweights in the group. Namibia shocked Africa with a late winner against Tunisia, while South Africa did all the playing but were beaten 2-0 by an efficient Mali side.

Turn Up or Say Goodbye

These results show what we all love about African Cup Of Nations – The unpredictability! It is a wake-up call for the so-called “giants” just as the second round of matches begins tomorrow.

AFCON 2023 - Wake-Up Call For African Giants

It will not be a walk in the park for anyone. There are no easy games at this level, and the opening round have just showed how competitive African football is. Hopefully we get even more surprises and entertaining upsets in the second round of matches.