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AFCON 2019: Super Sub Ighalo Fires Super Eagles Past Stubborn Burundi

AFCON 2019: Super Sub Ighalo Fires Super Eagles Past Stubborn Burundi

Odion Ighalo came off the bench to score the lone goal winner for the Super Eagles of Nigeria against the hard-fighting Swallows of Burundi in their first AFCON 2019 Group B encounter at the Alexandria Stadium on Saturday night, reports Completesports.com.

Ighalo who was top scorer in the qualifiers with seven goals netted the winner 13 minutes from time.

The Super Eagles dominated the opening exchanges with young winger Samuel Chukwueze causing problems for the Burundi defenders.

It was however Burundi who carved out the first real chance of the game with Cédric Amissi getting behind the Nigerian defence but his well struck shot was saved by Daniel Akpeyi.


Ighalo celebrates his goal


Paul Onuachu who was preferred ahead of Ighalo to lead Nigeria’s attack had a number of attempts at goal but failed to beat Burundi goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana.

Frédéric Nsabiyumva came close to handing Burundi the lead in 31st minute but we’ll placed header hit the upright.

Nigeria were forced to make a substitution when Chidozie Awaziem took the place of the injured Shehu Abdullahi three minutes from time.

Burundi gained in confidence after the break and took the game to the Super Eagles but were unable to break down the defence.

Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr introduced Ahmed Musa for John Mikel Obi in the 56th minute in a bid to add more urgency to his side’s play.

The move paid off as the Super Eagles pinned their opponent back and created a number of half chances.

The breakthrough came in the 77th minute when Ighalo slotted the ball home after receiving a beautiful pass from Ola Aina.

The Super Eagles held on to the lead despite late charge by the Burundians.

The three-time champions will face the Syli National of Guinea in their next game on Wednesday.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Stephen Boluwade 1 year ago

    Ola aina, is my Man Of The Match, good game from the SE, d defenceman was ok, midfield can improve and I think musa shd be a starter along side ighalo. Good luck SE.

    • Goal 1 year ago

      For those who want Iwobi as a winger have seen that he is ineffective in the position, as soon as mikel was subed off and he took over the position the game changed. Oga should please leave Iwobi in his no 10 position, mikel should stay in the bench or rather take over etebo’s position. Musa and ighalo must start, I don’t know who made apkeyi a coward always lacking confidence.

  • Richie 1 year ago

    Igha-goal & Musa for the starting frontline against Guinea.

    NO SLIP-UPS please.

    And this guy Akpeyi …..are you sure he’s not from Benin Republic or Burkina Faso?

    Nigerian players (and keepers alike) are not known for lack of confidence, not to talk of matured ones over 30. Very, very DISGRACEFUL

    • hahahahah, my brother that guy akpeyi i don’t even know where he come from, please Mr GR start ezenwa against guinea ooooh abeg. Nigerian should voice it now before is too late. we are just luck y on this game believe me

      • Common guys the guy try now!!!!!! Many big keepers including buffon do make mistakes imagine liverpool goalkeeper in the last previous champions league final against realmadrid. Guys akpeyi saved us from either loosing or drawing that match yesterday. No one is above mistakes. Imagine most of us are graduate lived in uptown for many years and we have endless internet(not trying to brag oo) but if u go through our text most times u will still found errors! Even that of completesports too. It means nobody can be hundred percent perfect. Africa number one keeper at 2014(enyeama) cost us our match against france in the second round with same error. Please let us encourage the guy. U dont know maybe he was trying to over impress us to avoid our negetive comments thats why he almost lost it. Now dat he didnt there shouldnt be a cause for alarm.

    • Emeka 1 year ago

      Make we thanks God for the 3 point

  • ubah 1 year ago

    St jude odion ighalo my striker,God bless u for me

  • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

    “….Musa Mohammed is FAR BETTER than Ola Aina…”
    Text the name of the owner of this quote to 33588 for a chance to win a free all expense paid trip to the Bahamas.

  • mutum 1 year ago

    ola aina is by far the best player tonight… class!

  • Igwe 1 year ago

    To Ola Aina ‘tion sir’. Go eagles! fly to the heavens

  • iwobi was the best man for nigeria,agaist burundi. his clever pass to aina was awesome!!!!!!!!!

  • Tola 1 year ago

    Nice start our darling super eagles. Keep the flag flying.

  • Samson Oyeyinka 1 year ago

    Daniel did saved us also tonight. His confidence will build up gradually. Let us not be too quick to condemn him. He will improve. The game was good test for us. We needed our attack to break their strong defence, which we did when Musa came in. I will prefer The starting line up to remain the same except that Ighalo should start, henry play from 11 the chukeweze from 7. Let Iwobi sub Mikel in Second half, while Musa sub henry in second half.

    • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

      Ehn..? His confidence will build gradually ke..? At what age…? My brother, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

  • tboy 1 year ago

    please coach if you can see these, use uzoho before its too late akpeyi go ruin us o. i swear nah because say nah burundi we played against

  • tayo 1 year ago

    That Burundi was a very good team. They made Nigeria suffer but thank God for the win. All the boys really tried

  • Alamin 1 year ago

    Thank God and good play to earn 3 point which is the koko. what a good finish by our striker Ighalo and a big respect to the passer Aina this is one of d best assist of all time, the killer pass took the defenders by surprise and a well finish by Ighalo(coming off d bench to score, this is a good feat)

  • Oakfield 1 year ago

    Akpeyi, in my own opinion did well oo. No be wetin I expect. He made a couple of good saves that would’ve beaten uzoho. I think he’s good at countering cross balls which Has been a problem for some of our goal keepers (uzoho inclusive). To be honest, he did very well compared to his past performances with the team. The team will improve with time. Thank God we got the 3points, there are no small teams again in Africa, every team wants to make a statement against Nigeria. I think Mikel should be starting from the bench, he has lost that steam for starting matches. Our defence line seems to be OK with the combo of omeruo and troost ekong, with our overlapping wing backs. A superp performance from aina, that guy is really good.

    • Jimi Morgan 1 year ago

      The nucleus often team that played qualifying after the WC should play. Mikel disrupted their flow and slowed down their speed. So, Iwobi as playmaker. Ighalo leading line. Miss and another fast or tricky forward. All four can be substituted depending on match performance. Midfield of Ndidi, Otebo, and Iwobi mentioned before. Defense was sound. Goalkeeper Akpeyi was okay. Rohr should have selected a different third goalie. Mikel to be non playing captain. And have no influence on team selection. No sentiments.

  • Sean 1 year ago

    Hmmm….even Chigozie Agbim had his flashing moment at CHAN tournament. That didn’t make him a good goal keeper. Akpeyi didn’t disappoint me. I knew at least one or two funny errors will come from him. Thank God it didn’t lead to goal. He did it against South Africa, Argentina and now. His best in naija color was against Algeria..in which I need to watch again. May God continue to keep with him…because…its not only Akpeyi that is standing in our goal post I’ve heard from someone today that iwobi with his form today should still come from the bench for Mikel in our next game. Well…

  • Sunnyb 1 year ago

    Ola Aina thumbs up, man of the match, Rohr pls leave Mikel for bench for now.Etebo, nice one Ndidi pls step up, akpeyi needs contact lenses the guy can’t see properly for real.

  • Ifeanyi Odiegwu 1 year ago

    Ola aina has really matured. Thanks to his move to Tolino. Iheanacho should do the same. Up eagles I wish them good luck.

  • Alamin 1 year ago

    well Akpeye tried but his mistakes would have cost us the game but thank Allah. I think Ezenwa is not 100% fit that is y the coach didn’t feature him pls by the next game we need Ezenwa not this unreliable keeper but atleast he did make some good today. everyother player did well even though onuachu didn’t deliver well as expected of him. what a good and early changes made by the coach I think he has Change on that area. Pls not because of one match we will be saying Mikel should come from bench we know what he has got and his experience so this is the first match we should all believe that the next game will be better than this. if not for the injury and sickness that stuck the team our first XI would have started and we would have played well than this.
    A world class pass from Aina cos that pass was d goal and fantastic finish by our experienced striker Ighalo not forgetting our (Messi) Chukwueze just terrorizing d Burundi defence a fabulous performance from the trio and others. onto d next one, continue to soar higher!!!

  • Omo9ja 1 year ago

    Congratulations Super Eagles. I didn’t watch the match but I’m happy the match ended in favour of Nigeria.

    I will like to congratulate Ighalo for that goal he scored. What a great goal that was. I have said it before now that, benching Ighalo for any striker in the Super Eagles will bring the best out of him. I will prefer Ighalo in the second half for tactical reasons.

    I’m not worried about Paul. I know what Onuachu is capable of.

    For Akpeyi, hmmm. Don’t complained at all. I have said more than enough about him before now but you guys can see now. I hope coach would have a second thought.

    Like coach Rohr like coach Agu.
    If you want the best for Nigeria, Peter Rufai is the main man or Ike Shorunmu. Coach Rohr should try Ezenwa on Wednesday if fully fit.

    I can’t say much about the match though, because I didn’t watch it.

    So sad my lovely Super Falcons were out of the tournament but I’m proud of them.

    Nonetheless, I am expecting Super Eagles to play at the final of this year Afcon with the caliber of players they have in the team.

    I am expecting good football from them. I can’t wait to see the Super Eagles playing entertaining football they knew Nigeria with.

    All in all, congratulations coach Rohr, Nigerians and also, NFF. Let’s get the job done on Wednesday. I know it won’t be easy but with God, we can. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

      Hmm….you are expecting SE to play in the final..?
      Same you that has been predicting disaster and a group stage exit…?
      Now you don dey change mouth small small. If dem tell you say you dey lie now you go say person dey rude…?
      How market…? Is Thomas Denerby not your bestest coach again…? Lolz

      • Oakfield 1 year ago

        Lol! I tire [email protected] That guy is really a chameleon. Always way changing it’s colour to blend with it’s environment to suit him. Na him ‘yeye’ coach that made a wise tcatical change that brought in ighalo to give us the goal against a very stubborn Burundi side.

        • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

          Hahahaha…just take a look at that last paragraph of his…
          “All in all, congratulations coach Rohr, Nigerians and also, NFF. Let’s get the job done on Wednesday. I know it won’t be easy but with God, we can. God bless Nigeria!!!”.
          Let’s get the job done…the same person that has been praying for Rohr to fail for over a year now.
          That’s what I call humble pie.
          That is the “f’enu olote gbo’le” that King Sunny Ade sang about in the 80s. LMAO

          • luckylee 1 year ago

            @dr drey i think omo9ja should not comment on SE matches if he didn’t watch them play i wonder how one calls himself a full blown analyst and still not watch ur senior nation team play on a Saturday for that matter…@omo9ja if i hear or read pimm on SE from you again lol