Some of the 24 teams scheduled to play at the upcoming TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Côte d’Ivoire were engaged in friendly matches over the weekend to fine-tune their preparations for the competition that kicks off next week.
Nigeria, Algeria and Mali secured big wins to boost their confidence ahead of the tournament that is set to kick off on January 13 in Abidjan.
Each side carefully selected their friendly opponents to fine-tune their preparations, making the most of the opportunity to hone their skills before the highly anticipated continental showpiece.
Nigeria 12-0 Dubai Local Club
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have shown that they possessed attackers that break any defense after a 12-9 demolition of an unnamed Dubai Club in an unofficial warm-up game on Sunday.
Atalanta of Italy striker, Ademola Lookmam scored four goals while African Player of The Year, Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon and Sadiq Umar scored two goals each. The club who were under pressure throughout the match scored two own goals to make it 12.
Togo 0-3 Algeria
In a friendly match held in Lome, Algeria emerged victorious against Togo with a convincing 3-0 scoreline. The first half saw the Desert Foxes taking the lead with a goal from defender Rami Ben Sbaini. Islam Slimani, the all-time top scorer for the Algerian national team, doubled the lead in the second half. Ben Sbaini secured his second personal goal and the third for the Algerian team in the match. Algeria is set to play another friendly in Togo against Burundi on January 9 before heading to Bouake, where they will be based during the AFCON, 24 hours later.
Mali 6-2 Guinea-Bissau
Mali secured a resounding victory over Guinea-Bissau in a friendly match as part of their preparations for the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Côte d’Ivoire 2023. The Eagles dominated with a 6-2 scoreline, with goals from Youssouf Niakate, Lassana Coulibaly, Kamory Doumbia, Sekou Niakate, Falaye Sacko, and Lassine Sinayoko. Guinea-Bissau managed to score twice through Mama Baldé and Carlos Mané.
DR Congo 0-0 Angola
The friendly encounter between DR Congo and Angola concluded with a goalless draw, emphasizing a solid defensive performance from both teams. Despite the absence of goals, the friendly proved beneficial for both the Leopards and Palancas Negras in their final preparations for the upcoming tournament.
Burkina Faso 1-2 Iran
Burkina Faso opted to face an opponent from outside the continent, Iran, in a friendly match that ended with a 2-1 loss for The Stallions. Mohamed Konate opened the scoring for Burkina Faso in the 17th minute, but Iran staged a comeback, securing two goals for the victory.
Tunisia 0-0 Mauritania
Tunisia and Mauritania played to a goalless draw in a friendly match held in Tunisia as part of their preparations for the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Côte d’Ivoire 2023. Coaches Jalal Kadri and Amir Abdou used the match for crucial preparations ahead of the continental football extravaganza but both sides could not find the net even though there were some exciting moments.