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Nigeria complete perfect run in Group D after dispatching Guinea-Bissau

Nigeria’s excellent form continued on Wednesday at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau, sealing the status of the Super Eagles as the only team to win all their group stage games in the competition. Umar Sadiq and William Troost-Ekong both scored in the second half to secure an impressive victory considering Nigeria rotated several players into the starting lineup. For the second time, meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau end an AFCON campaign at the group stage.

Facing a team that declared its intention to fight tooth and nail for the three points, it took an excellent effort from a Nigeria starting lineup with several new faces. Umar Sadiq and Kelechi Nwakali made their senior debuts but proved that there is plenty of depth within the Super Eagles squad. Another player making his first AFCON start was center defender Semi Ajayi, who headed over a Kelechi Iheanacho free kick for Nigeria’s first chance in the 14th minute.

Sadiq soon had his first attempt at breaking his international duck halfway through the first half but after getting around Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Maurice Gomis, the Almeria striker got the ball caught up in his feet and was successfully closed down. Guinea-Bissau struggled to create opportunities and the first half ended scoreless.

Nigeria would find the opener eventually, and it came in the 56th minute through Sadiq. Iheanacho made a run down the right flank and received a pass near the corner of the Bissau-Guinean penalty area. The Leicester City forward made a sublime pass with the outside of his left foot that curled beyond the defense to pick out Sadiq at the far post, who only had to tap his finish in from close range.

As impressive as Iheanacho’s assist was, substitute Moses Simon stole the show with his dribbling wizardry after coming on in the 57th minute and set up Nigeria’s second goal. The FC Nantes winger drove inside from the left wing to the corner of the penalty area, riding a challenge before navigating his way past two more defenders and uncorking a blast off the crossbar. While Simon did not get the goal or assist, center back Troost-Ekong was there to stick the rebound in. Initially ruled offside, a long Video Assistant Referee review confirmed that the Watford defender was on and the goal stood.

Guinea-Bissau created more in the second half and came close on a couple of occasions, with striker Frédéric Mendy’s shot in the 87th minute the best chance but Ajayi did brilliantly to block Steve Ambri’s rebound attempt after goalkeeper Francis Uzoho kept the initial effort out. Nigeria were able to hold out for the clean sheet and continue to look like one of the AFCON favorites going forward.

Highlights are below.

Umar Sadiq finishes Iheanacho pass for his first senior Nigeria goal

Moses Simon sets up Troost-Ekong goal with dribbling wizardry


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