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AFCON 2021: Super Eagles stroll into last 16 with convincing win over Guinea-Bissau

Sadiq, Ekong secure Super Eagles 100% record

Nigeria’s Super Eagles wrapped up their group stage campaign at AFCON 2021 with a routine 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.

Super Eagles Head Coach Austin Eguavoen kept a 100% record in his previous AFCON group stage as coach of the Super Eagles in 2006, and was eager to repeat the trick in Cameroon 16 years later.

Having defeated Egypt and Sudan in their opening two fixtures to book their place in the last 16, the Super Eagles only needed to defeat minnows Guinea-Bissau to keep their 100% group stage record.

Eguavoen made eight changes to the side, with Kelechi Nwakali and Sadiq Umar making their full Super Eagles debut, and the likes of Tyronne Ebuehi, Alex Iwobi, Chidera Ejuke, Jamilu Collins and Francis Uzoho coming into the starting XI.

Super Eagles dominated the proceedings from kick-off but failed to find the net against a disciplined Bissau-Guinean defence.

The best chance of the first half fell to Almeria striker Sadiq Umar, who latched on to a brilliant ball by Kelechi Nwakali and rounded the keeper before losing his footing and getting crowded out by the retreating Guinea-Bissau defenders.

The second half saw the Nigerian side improve, but they still lacked the cutting edge required to punish their opponents. It took a moment of brilliance from the Super Eagles stars to put them in front after 56 minutes.

Leicester City duo Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho combined to create space for the latter to play a brilliant pass across the box with the outside of his left boot for Sadiq to tap in from close range for his first-ever Super Eagles goal. The goal was awarded after a lengthy VAR check.

Nigeria continued to dominate proceedings and soon doubled their advantage as the impressive FC Nantes winger Moses Simon showed why he is being tipped for the Player of the Tournament award.

The Nantes winger came on as a substitute for Ejuke and jinked his way past three players with incredible close control in the Guinea-Bissau box before rifling a shot against the crossbar with his left foot. Watford defender William Troost-Ekong reacted quickest to prod home the rebound from close range in the 75th minute to double the Super Eagles advantage.

Coach Eguavoen handed debuts to Peter Olayinka and Orlando Pirates defender Olisa Ndah as a largely second-string Nigeria side swatted Guinea-Bissau aside with ease.

The Super Eagles win over Guinea-Bissau ensured that they became the first side in AFCON 2021 to finish the group stage with a 100% record. In the group’s other game, Egypt defeated Sudan 1-0 to join Nigeria in the last 16.

Nigeria will now face Malawi or another of the third-place teams from Group E or F in the Round of 16 at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.

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