Kelechi Iheanacho’s first-half goal handed Nigeria a 1-0 victory in their Africa Cup of Nations Group D clash in Garoua. Among other of Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations football news, Nigeria beat Egypt deservedly, because the latter were below par.
Iheanacho crashed a half-volley from the edge of the box into the top corner after 30 minutes to settle the contest, but Nigeria should have added at least a couple more goals in what was the best performance by a team in the finals so far and a warning to their rivals.
Africa Cup of Nations Football News – Nigeria Beat Egypt Deservedly
Egypt failed to shift out of first gear and could not get talisman forward Mohamed Salah into the game. Instead, the Liverpool star (football transfers) cut an isolated figure up front. He was thus starved of service and the quality around him to have any influence in yesterday’s match.
Egypt were then further unsettled by the early loss of right-back Akram Tawfik to injury inside the first 10 minutes. Tawfik appeared to be in some distress as he need help to walk off the pitch.
His absence meant Nigeria found plenty of space to attack down that flank, with the electric Moses Simon especially profiting. Indeed, he was a constant worry for the Egyptians.
Simon had the first sight of goal as he found space in the box, but the angle kept getting narrower. As a result, he could only fire into the side-netting.
But Nigeria were in front shortly afterwards and again the move started with Simon. Iheanacho provided the sublime finish that left Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawy with no chance.
On the other hand, any time the ball went near Salah he was surrounded by two or three defenders.
Then, early in the second half, Nigeria hit the crossbar when El Shennawy turned Taiwo Awoniyi’s close-range header. He deflected it toward the frame of the goal.
Also, Iheanacho fluffed a superb chance to double the advantage and score a brace himself. The ball fell to him in acres of space in the box, but a poor first touch let him down.
Salah finally got a sight of goal at 70 minutes but was under pressure from two defenders and the keeper. So, he could not get any power into his effort.
The pace of Nigeria’s wingers and fullbacks stretched the more pedestrian Egyptians on a number of occasions. And so, Nigeria continued to look the most likely to score, which they did not, eventually.