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Afcon Under-23: Amapakabo's gamble fails to pay as Nigeria's problems come home to roost

Cape Verde beat Nigeria in the Plate quarterfinals. To watch WAFU Cup of Nations, sign up for ESPN+.

Nigeria's elimination from the Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations in Egypt, at the hands of South Africa on Friday, brings the curtain down on a miserable few months for the country's home-based national teams; and while coach Imama Amapakabo will take the lion's share of the criticism, some enduring problems have underpinned this succession of failures.

In a month and a half, Amapakabo's Nigeria lost both games at the WAFU Cup of Nations, missed out on qualification for the African Nations Championship...

Victor Osimhen one-man wrecking ball for Nigeria Super Eagles in Afcon qualifying

Not since Obafemi Martins' emergence in 2003 have Nigerians been so jazzed up about a starting striker to lead the Super Eagles.

Unlike Martins, who took some convincing before he left the comfort of Inter Milan and the San Siro in Italy to suit up for Nigeria, Victor Osimhen developed through the cadet ranks with not even the slightest doubt about whether or not he would pick up the mantle.

Osimhen has been hailed the new great hope of Nigerian football since scoring 10 goals in nine games for...

AFCON qualifiers: Nigeria wins, South Africa rebound over Sudan

Nigeria easily handled Lesotho in Africa Cup of Nations group qualifying.

Nigeria's in-form forward Victor Osimhen struck twice as they came from a goal down to beat minnows Lesotho 4-2 in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Group L qualifier in Maseru on Sunday.

The west Africans fell behind to an early strike from Masoabi Nkoto, but led by the break as Alex Iwobi equalised and Samuel Chukwueze put them in front.

Osimhen had looked the most dangerous player on the pitch and was rewarded with a second-half brace as Nigeria claimed a full haul of six points from their opening...

African Cup of Nations qualifiers: Nigeria, Senegal win; Cameron draw

Victor Osimhen scored to ensure Nigeria beat Benin in AFCON qualifying.

Senegal showed their teeth on the opening day of qualifiers for the 2021 African Cup of Nations but other continental heavyweights struggled to find form on Wednesday.

Nigeria could only scrape a 2-1 home win over tiny neighbours Benin while Cameroon were held to an embarrassing home draw by the Cape Verde Islands.

Cameroon are hosts of the next finals but are also participating in the qualifying competition.

- Dove: Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers: Road to Cameroon begins
Lee: 

Sanuel Kalu, Victor Osimhen star as Nigeria defeat Benin in Super Eagles' Afcon opener

Nigeria overcame a scare from Benin to eke out a 2-1 home win in their opening 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Stephane Sessegnon took advantage of sloppy Nigeria defending to put the Squirrels ahead two minutes in, but Victor Osimhen tucked away a penalty, after Ola Aina had been felled in the box, and Samuel Kalu waltzed his way through the defence to find a second-half winner for the Super Eagles.

Benin could have equalised late on, rattling the woodwork with Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi...