President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Sports Development Minister, Senator John Owan-Enoh say they are proud of the Super Eagles for coming second at the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) which ended on Sunday.
Nigeria lost 2-1 to the host nation, Ivory Coast, on Sunday.
Nigeria’s quest to win the AFCON trophy for the first time since 2013 started on a good note courtesy of a goal from captain fantastic, William Troost-Ekong.
William Troost-Ekong put the Super Eagles 1-0 ahead as the central defender almost ripped the net apart with a bullet header from a corner kick in the 38th minute.
The Elephants who dominated the possession in the first half of the game, however, got their equaliser through Franck Kessie in the 62nd minute with an assist from Simon Adingra.
Ivory Coast was not done as Borussia Dortmund striker, Sebastian Haller, scored the second goal in the 81st minute courtesy of another assist from Adingra.
President Tinubu in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, hailed the Super Eagles, saying that the team demonstrated the great resilience and talent of the Nigerian people.
Tinubu also saluted the Super Eagles for their tenacious performance in the final of the just-concluded continental football showpiece in Ivory Coast.
“President Tinubu commends the team, the coach, the crew, and the entire management team for their hard work, assiduity, and sacrifice to come this far in the tournament, acknowledging the hurdles they consistently surpassed with steadily improving performance as they pulled through to the finals,” Ngelale said.
“The President urges Nigerians to be of good cheer, emphasizing that we won a great victory in the hearts of Africa and the world by our grit, rigour, and determination in the field of play.
“Let this passing event not dispirit us, but bring us together to work harder. We are a great nation bound as one by the green-white-green banner of resilience, joy, hope, duty, and untiring love.
“To those cherished Nigerian youths expressing their gifts in communities, drawing lines in the sand as they play football in their humble rectangles of play, you can be our heroes tomorrow, do not relent in your pursuit. My administration is here to make dreams come true.”
Sports Minister, Owan-Enoh expressed his gratitude to the Super Eagles and the entire team who brought Nigeria this far.
He also applauded their commitment to winning, which led the country to the final of the tournament.
“Dear Super Eagles of Nigeria, you have won our hearts and evoked our admiration. We present you with your well-deserved accolades for standing for Nigeria until the end,” the Minister posted on X.
“We are proud of you. You took the silver, and we congratulate you and wish you all the best.”
He also congratulated captain fantastic, William Troost-Ekong, who emerged as the player of the tournament AFCON 2023 while urging the Super Eagles to keep soaring.