AFCON 2021: Iheanacho guides Nigeria past Egyptian Pharaohs

Kelechi Iheanacho’s solo goal was enough to ensure that Nigeria register a 1-0 victory against Egypt in the African Cup of Nations on Tuesday evening.

Right from kickoff Nigeria made their intensions clear playing as a team in a composed manner. Mostafa Mohamed placed a cross in the area but Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazy smartly blocked it to deny the run.

The 68-year-old gaffer was forced to make a change bringing on Mohamed Abdelmon to replace Akram Tawfik in Egypt’s first substitute.

Egypt skipper Mohamed Salah made a run on the right flank before arrowing a pass through the defence to meet Trezeguet but Nigeria’s custodian Emil Okoye Maduka rushed off the line to collect the ball.

At half an hour mark, Nigeria took the lead through Kelechi Iheanacho whose brilliant shot from Joe Aribo’s short pass found the back of the net past Egypt’s custodian Mohamed El Shenawy.

With three minutes to end the first stanza, Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi met loose ball in the box before adding a short cross into the mix but Shenawy timely collected it.

After the break, Awoniyi connected on Olaoluwa Aina’s hard cross but his effort rattled off the woodwork after beating the goalkeeper.

In the 71st minute, Salah made a crazy run past Nigeria’s defence but he miskicked the ball hence allowing Maduka to save the low shot from close range.

The win awarded Nigeria a victory in the opening game to take summit of group D in the nations cup.

How they lined up

Nigeria XI: Emil Okoye (Gk), Olaoluwa Aina, Ndindi Onyinyi Wilfred, William Paul Ekong, Joseph Oluwaseyi, Zaidu Sanusi, Ihenacho Promise, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Awoniyi Taiwo, Kenneth Omeruo

Egypt XI: Mohamed El Shenawy (Gk), Hamdy Fathy, Ahmed Hegazy, Mahmood Salah, Ahmed Abo Elfetouh, Mostafa Mohamed, Mahmoud Hamdy, Mohamed Elneny, Omar Marmoush, Akram Tawfik

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