Nigeria has been drawn against the Egypt in the 2021 AFCON group stage after the draw for the delayed African Cup of Nations was held in Yaounde for the tournament due to hold in Cameroon between January 9th and February 6th 2022.
Nigeria, AFCON champions in 1980, 1994 and 2013, was placed in Group D alongside seven-time winners Egypt, 1970 champions Sudan and Guinea Bissau for the preliminary round of the competition. All of the Super Eagles’ matches in the competition will be played at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua, starting with their opening match against Egypt on January 11th. Nigeria will take on Sudan afterwards on January 15th, and then Guinea Bissau on January 19th in their final group match. The Super Eagles of Nigeria is currently ranked fifth on the continent and is a strong contender for the title. The final of the competition will be held at the Paul Biya Stadium in Yaounde.
Nigeria defeated Egypt in their last international meeting back in 2019 when a first minute Paul Onuachu strike gave the Super Eagles a 1-0 win in the international friendly match between the countries. Nigeria and Egypt last faced each other in the competition in the group stage of the 2010 AFCON, losing 3-1 on the occasion as Egypt went on to win the tournament. Nigeria has never faced Sudan and Guinea Bissau in the competition in their history. Sudan would be making a return to the competition after a nine-year absence in which they missed the 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 editions of the competition. Sudan reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 edition before losing to eventual winners Zambia. Guinea Bissau has appeared in each of the last two editions of the competition, crashing out of the group stage in both occasions.
In other groups, debutants Comoros was drawn against Morocco, Ghana and Gabon in Group C. The other debutants at the 2021 edition, The Gambia will take on Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania in Group F. Africa’s top-ranked team Senegal is in Group B with Zimbabwe, Guinea and Malawi. Algeria, winners of the last edition, will do battle in Group E with Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire.
Nigeria had a good tournament in the 2019 AFCON hosted by Egypt, finishing in third place after losing in the semifinals to eventual winners Algeria. Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo won the tournament’s golden boot. The Super Eagles finished on top of a qualifying group that included Sierra Leone, Benin Republic and Lesotho, going through the qualifiers unbeaten. The Super Eagles would be looking to win a fourth AFCON title in Cameroon in this edition.
Here is the draw in full;