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Stanley Nwabali reflects on heroic AFCON 2023 penalty saves vs South Africa

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By Monsurah Olatunji

Stanley Nwabali has offered an apology to fans following Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat to Ivory Coast in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Abidjan.
The 27-year-old, who made his AFCON debut in Ivory Coast, conceded four goals and kept four clean sheets in all seven games.
The goalkeeper posted a video on social media taking responsibility for the defeat that saw the Ivorians overturn William Troost-Ekong’s powerful opener through Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller.
Nigeria are three-time winners of the AFCON, but the West African giants have now lost five finals — in 1984, 1988, 1990, 2000, and 2023.
Nwabali, who became a fans favourite following his excellent displays, also praised Eagles fans for their support throughout the tournament.
“A disappointing and frustrating end,” Nwabali stated in a post moments after the heartbreak on his Instagram account.
“I deeply apologize to Nigerians. I was once a fan, still a fan and I understand how it feels giving you a disappointing night.
“We take full responsibility. Thanks for the whole support till the end. I love you all🇳🇬

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