|The Super Eagles celebrate the opener that was slotted home by Sadiq Umar on Wednesday against Guinea-Bissau in their final group game of the ongoing AFCON. Nigeria won 2-0. (Photo credit: TheNFF)|
The Super Eagles of Nigeria made light work of the threats of Guinea-Bissau to fly into the round of 16 as the only side to do so with a 100% record after three wins in as many games in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The Super Eagles on Wednesday night beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 to confirm their 100% group stage record, thereby matching Augustin Eguavoen’s feat of 2006 when he became the only Super Eagles’ coach to achieve same.
Eguavoen rang a host of changes having qualified for the round of 16 with the win over Sudan on Saturday, Kenneth Omeruo made way for Semi Ajayi while Tyrone Ebuehi was handed a start in place of Torino’s Ola Aina.
Chidera Ejuke, Kelechi Nwakali and Sadiq Umar replaced Joe Aribo, Moses Simon and Taiwo Awoniyi respectively. The team in Red gave a good account of themselves in the first half as they eyed a win that could see them finish as one of the best thirds;
But it was Nigeria that had the clear cut chances, Sadiq Umar had fans on their feet midway into the first half when he rounded the keeper but lost the ball to a GNB defender, another chance fell to him moments later but he fluffed it too.
Ejuke was the most lively Nigerian player on the left, giving the opposition right back a long night throughout the first half. The half ended goalless but you could tell it was only a matter of time as both sides searched for the opener.
It didn’t take long after the restart before Nigeria took the lead. Nice exchange of passes down the right opened up for Kelechi Iheanacho to side-foot cleanly to the path of Umar who slotted home past the Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper with ease.
Nigeria dominated from there without questions as substitute Moses Simon tore the opposition defense apart at will. One of his mazy runs, side stepping four defenders in the process led to the second goal as his final shot cannoned off the crossbar and straight to the part of Troost-Ekong who made no mistake from 3 yards.
The linesman had his flag up but after a lengthy VAR check, the goal stood and Guinea-Bissau at that point needed to score at least three times to stand any possible chance of advancing to the round of 16 as one of the four best thirds.
Egypt beat Sudan 1-0 at about the same time to book their place in the next round as second where they’d learn of their opponents after the final group games on Thursday.