2021 AFCON: Iheanacho’s goal gifts Nigeria victory over Egypt as Salah fail to shine

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor -in -Chief,  Abuja

One goal hero…Kelechi Iheanacho (aka Senior Man Kel) wheeling away after scoring a goal for Nigeria in a previous match in Lagos. He scored the lone goal in the victory over Egypt on Tuesday in AFCON 2021 in Garoua.

A 30th minute well taken shot inside the Egyptian box was all that the Super Eagles needed to beat the Pharaohs of Egypt in the opening match of Group D at Stade Roumde Adjia Garoua on Tuesday.

Iheanacho controlled beautifully a headed pass by winger, Moses Simon and hit a fleet-footed shot which sailed into the top right corner with Egypt goalkeeper, Mohamed El-Shennawy caught napping.
It was a wonderful strike which earned the Super Eagles a well deserved victory over the Pharaohs and also confirmed Nigeria as better team in Africa going by the current FIFA World Rankings which put Nigeria and Egypt at number 36 and 45 in the world top 50 teams as well as Africa’s number five and six teams respectively.
Of significant of Nigeria’s victory over Egypt on Tuesday was the fact that the Super Eagles defenders, Captain Williams Troost-Ekong, Zaidu Sanusi and especially Kenneth Omeruo who worked overtime on the day to deny Liverpool FC “goal-machine” Salah any space to breach the Nigeria defenceline.
It was not until Egypt made all her five substitutions late in the second half did Salah make only one incursion into Nigeria’s goal area and goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye dealt with the threat nicely.
The Super Eagles were clearly the better side on the day as all the 11-starters proving that they are equal to the task just as the Leicester City men Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi putting up strong performances.

Winning Captain. ..William Troost-Ekong marshalled Super Eagles defence that kept Mohamed Salah quiet for 90 minutes.

Also, Torino FC of Italy’s wing-back, Olaoluwa Aina; France-based Simon and Scottish League star, Joseph Aribo as well as Villarreal forward, Samuel Chukwueze shinning brightly in the match against Egypt.

Although Egypt Head Coach Carlos  Queiroz fielded a strong Egyptian team, his wards came short of the performance of the Super Eagles tutored by the Caretaker Head Coach Augustine Eguavoen who got his tactics right on the day.
With this victory,  Nigeria will approach the two remaining Group D matches against Guinea Bissau and Sudan with calmness while focusing on getting the maximum points to avoid heavyweight teams in the Round of 16 to guide against early mishap.

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