Africa Cup of Nations

When did Nigeria last win the Afcon title?

1:08 PM WAT 17/12/2021
Nigeria win 2013 Afcon title.
As Cameroon prepare to host the continental showpiece in January 2022, we take a look at the most recent time the Super Eagles were champions

After missing the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals, Nigeria emerged for the 2013 edition and won the title with an unbeaten run in the tournament held in South Africa. 

The Super Eagles' success in the 29th edition - after a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in the final - saw them lift their third ever Afcon title after previous successes in 1980 and in 1994. 

The West African giants were in Group C alongside Burkina Faso, Zambia - the then defending champions, and Ethiopia.

The Super Eagles started poorly, drawing their opening game 1-1 against the Stallions, at Mbombela Stadium on January 21. 

They had to share the points again in the second group game against Chipolopolo after another 1-1 draw and faced the possibility of elimination unless they won their final group match.

A final group game against Ethiopia saw them pick up their first win and a clean sheet as they left it late before scoring two goals in the final 10 minutes and finsihed second in their pool - with five points - behind Burkina Faso who were on top courtesy of a superior goal difference. 

Although they had struggled in the group phase, Nigeria showed their class and eliminated a star-studded Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals when they claimed a 2-1 win at Royal Bafokeng Stadium. 

Emmanuel Emenike gave the Super Eagles the lead in the 43rd minute before Ivory Coast equalised in the 50th minute through Cheick Tiote but Sunday Mba's 73rd minute winner is what the eventual champions needed to win and progress. 

It was in the semis that Nigeria registered their biggest win, against Mali, in the 16-team tournament. By the end of the first half, they were already 3-0 up before adding one more goal to ease into the final after a 4-1 win. 

Uwa Echiejile put them in front in the 25th minute, before Aide Ideye scored the second five minutes later.

Emenike - who ended the tournament as joint top scorer with four goals and three assists - scored the third in the 44th minute, before Ahmed Musa struck the final goal at the hour mark. Mali's only goal came as a consolation goal in the 75th minute through Cheick Diarra's effort.  

In the final, the Super Eagles faced off with their group rivals, Burkina Faso - who defeated Ghana on post-match penalties in the other semi-final - but emerged 1-0 victors in a match they largely dominated and should have scored more. They were almost made to pay the price in the 77th minute when Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made a superb fingertip save from Wilfried Sanou.  

But when the final whistle went it was Mba's goal that propelled the West Africans to their third, and so far last, Afcon title.

This victory made  Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi only the second man, after Mahmoud El-Gohary, to win the Cup of Nations as both player and coach.

All information is accurate at the time of publication.