Nigeria moved into the round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon with a commanding 2-0 victory over Guinea Bissau in their final group game. The Super Eagles beat Egypt 1-0 and Sudan 3-1 in their first and second group stage games, respectively.
The team were targeting a 100% record against a Guinea Bissau side that needed a win to be assured of at least a best third-place team spot for the next round after drawing 0-0 against Sudan and losing 1-0 against Egypt in their opening and second group stage games respectively.
The Super Eagles fielded a string of second-string players in the front line, with Austin Eguavoen choosing to rest Taiwo Awoniyi, Moses Simon, Ola Aina, Wilfred Ndidi, and goalkeeper Maduka Okoye. In came Francis Uzoho in goal while Tyronne Ebuehi came in for Ola Aina, Kelechi Nwakali, Umar Sadiq, and Alex Iwobi all started.
Nigeria threatened through Umar Sadiq and Kelechi Iheanacho, and Semi Ajayi, who started ahead of Kenneth Omuero. Sadiq fluffed a set of chances while Ajayi headed over the bar from close range in the first half, but the three-time African champions took the lead in the second half when Sadiq Umar slotted in Kelechi Iheanacho’s pass.
He was substituted immediately after the goal as Moses Simon and Peter Olayinka were introduced into the game. It was the France based forward who ended the game as a contest as he immediately became a thorn In the flesh of the Guinea Bissau defence as he set up Troost Ekong for the second goal.
Meanwhile, Egypt needed a first-half header to secure a 1-0 win over Sudan. The win makes sure they ended the group in second behind Nigeria with six points.
Written by: Daniel Ademiju Idowu