Senior man Kelz fires Nigeria past Egypt in AFCON encounter

Nigeria 1-0 Egypt: Kelechi Iheanacho fires Nigeria past Egypt in AFCON encounter (Match Highlights)

 

The Super Eagles on their lap of honour after beating Egypt 1-0 in their AFCON Group D opener on Tuesday. (Photo credit: TheNFF)

When the Africa Cup of Nations draws were done and Nigeria was thrown into the same group with Egypt, not many found it funny but like the good old saying in sports, you have to beat the best to be the best.

Everything pointed to an Egypt victory against Nigeria in their Group D opener, considering how poorly prepared the Super Eagles were, firing Gernot Rohr few weeks to the tournament and appointing Austin Eguavoen on the interim, the signs were ominous…

And then key players pulled out of the squad; Victor Osimhen had jaw problems but was still named in the squad, he withdrew after contacting covid. 

Odion Ighalo should never have been called but his Saudi Club refused to release him and Emmanuel Denis of Watford withdrew too under unclear circumstances.

The starting eleven against Egypt had Joe Aribo, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho in the middle of the pack, unconvincing by all standards in the absence of Oghenekaro Etebo and the retired Mikel Obi that Nigerians are used to.

The defence didn’t look inspiring with Troost Ekong marshalling the quartet, if you’ve seen him at Watford of late you would not trust him with Mohammed Salah, but like football always does, things went completely different from expectations.

Nigeria went all out from the blast of the whistle with the Pharaohs struggling to string passes together, the early exchange was all Nigeria and it wasn’t a surprise that the only goal of the goal came on the half-hour mark and to Nigeria too.

Moses Simon’s cross was deflected to the part of the Rangers midfielder who fed Iheanacho, the Leicester City man had an impressive first touch before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the top corner that the Egyptian goalkeeper couldn’t do a thing about.

Egypt had pinned all their hopes on Mohammed Salah but the Nigerian defence ensured he didn’t have enough touches to do any damage.

The second half was better for the team in red, they managed possession better but still couldn’t get past the Nigerian midfield.

Moses Simon terrorized the Egyptian’s right back all evening and their duel would go down as the most one-sided one in the tournament.

Guinea Bissau and Sudan played out a goalless draw in the group’s other game with the Guineans missing a penalty to win it late in the second half.

Nigeria will meet Sudan on Saturday while the Pharaohs will square up with Guinea Bissau.

Nigeria 1-0 Egypt: Watch the match highlights below


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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: Senior man Kelz fires Nigeria past Egypt in AFCON encounter
Senior man Kelz fires Nigeria past Egypt in AFCON encounter
Nigeria 1-0 Egypt: Kelechi Iheanacho fires Nigeria past Egypt in AFCON encounter (Match Highlights)
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