AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Soar to Top Ranking after Morocco’s Exit

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have emerged as the top-ranked team at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations following Morocco’s unexpected exit from the tournament. South Africa’s surprising 2-0 victory over Morocco propelled Nigeria to the forefront of the competition. Prior to this match, several top-ranking African teams, including Senegal, Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia, had already been eliminated, setting the stage for Nigeria’s ascent.

Morocco, widely regarded as a formidable contender and the first African country to reach the World Cup semi-finals, faced South Africa as heavy favourites. However, a spirited performance by the Bafana Bafana, who had struggled in the group stage, saw them secure a memorable victory with second-half goals from Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena. This unexpected turn of events not only eliminated Morocco but also elevated Nigeria to the forefront of the AFCON rankings.

The Super Eagles, initially ranked sixth at the onset of the tournament, now hold the distinction of being the highest-ranked team among the remaining eight contenders, according to FIFA rankings. Following Nigeria are Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, South Africa, Congo DR, Cape Verde, Guinea, and Angola, in descending order of FIFA ranking.

Under the leadership of coach Jose Peseiro, Nigeria’s performance throughout the tournament has solidified their position as a formidable force on the African football stage. As they advance through the competition, the Super Eagles are poised to capitalize on their elevated ranking and showcase their prowess in pursuit of AFCON glory.

IMAGE: Vanguard

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