The Super Eagles of Nigeria have booked their place in the Round of 16 of the 2021 AFCON after a dominant showing and 3-1 win against Sudan in Garoua on Saturday, Completesports.com reports.
Goals from Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Moses Simon put the Eagles in a comfortable lead.
However Sudan got a goal in the second half from the penalty spot.
It is the Super Eagles’ first win against Sudan at AFCON since a 1-0 victory at the 1976 edition in Ethiopia.
Chukwueze broke the deadlock on three minutes when he slotted the ball past the Sudanese keeper off a threaded pass from Moses Simon inside the box.
The Sudanese had a chance on goal in the 10th minute through Gumaa Abas Omer which failed to trouble Maduka Okoye.
In the 13th minute Okoye was called to action following a long range shot from Mohamed Al Rashed which he dived to save.
Taiwo Awoniyi almost doubled the Eagles’ lead on 25 minutes after he was played through by Kelechi Iheanacho, but his shot was blocked for a corner.
On 36 minutes the Eagles had a couple of chances as William Troost-Ekong saw his goal bound shot from Simon’s setpiece saved by the keeper before Awoniyi saw his effort come off the post.
Within five minutes the Eagles had another big chance but Aribo hit his effort off target after a good cutback from Awoniyi.
Awoniyi made it 2-0 on 45 minutes off a lucky goal as a Troost-Ekong’s header from Iheanacho’s set piece, came off a Sudanese player which veered off the Union Berlin striker’s head with the Keeper failing to keep it out.
Before the start of the second half the Eagles made their first change with Chukwueze going off for Alex Iwobi.
And just one minute into the second half, Simon added the third goal as he controlled the ball on the air before slotting under the Sudanese keeper.
In the 52nd minute, Awoniyi had a big chance to get his second goal following a poor clearance from a Sudanese defender but his goal bound strike was blocked for a corner.
Sudan almost profited from a mistake from Okoye on 59 minutes after he came out to claim a cross and dropped the ball before gathering the loose ball to avoid any danger.
On 65 minutes the Eagles made a double change with Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Nwakali replacing Iheanacho and Aribo respectively.
A minute later, Zaidu Sanusi made an important block as he headed into corner a goal bound shot.
With 20 minutes left Sudan pulled a goal back from the penalty spot through Walieldin Kedr after Ola Aina fouled a Sudanese player inside the box, as VAR check confirmed.
With 15 minutes left, Awoniyi was close to extending the Eagles’ lead after he was played through by Iwobi but hit his shot off target.
Sudan went close on 81 minutes following a dangerous low crow from the right which Maduka palmed away.
With less than 10 minutes left Umar Sadiq was introduced for Awoniyi.
In the 90th minute Sadiq had his first chance on goal, but his lame effort went way off target.
The Eagles now join Cameroon and Morocco in the knockout stage of the tournament.
Nigeria will now take on Guinea-Bissau in their final Group D match on Wednesday, January 19.
Nigeria 3 – 1 SUDAN
Nigeria – S. Chukwueze 3′ ; T. Awoniyi 45′ ; M. Simon 46th min)
Sudan – Walieldin Safour 70′ pen.
Venue: Roumde Adjia Stadium, Garoua
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2022
Referee: Victor Gomes (South Africa)
Yellow cards: J. Aribo 58′ ; O. Aina 69′
1 Maduka Okoye (Gk) – 2 Ola Aina, 22 Kenneth Omeruo, 5 William Troosy-Ekong (Capt.), 12 Zaidu Sanusi, 4 Wilfred Ndidi, 10 Joe Aribo (25 – Kelechi Nwakali 64th min.), 14 Kelechi Iheanacho (7- Ahmed Musa, 64th min), 15 Moses Simon, 11 Samuel Chukwueze (18 – Alex Iwobi, 46th min), 19 Taiwo Awoniyi (24 – Sadiq Umar 81st min.).
Subs Not Used:
16 Dankel Akpeyi, 23 Francis Uzoho, 21 Tyronne Ebuehi, 11 Henry Onyekuru, 8 Frank Onyeka, 26 Olisa Ndah, 6 Semi Ajayi, 13 Chidera Ejuke
COACH: Augustine Eguavoen
1 Ali Abosheren (GK) – 5 Salaheldin Nemer (Capt.), 6 Mustafa Mohammed, 9 Abdelrazig Omer (18 Sharif Makki 88′ ), 11 Gumaa Omer (19- Dhiya Mahjoub 46th min.), 12 Mustafa Saeed, 14 Mohamed Mahamoud, 15 Yasin Hamed (8 – A. Hussein Mohamed 63rd min.), 17 Mazin Mohamed
21 Walieldin Safour, 25 Musab Eisa (22 – Nooh Al-Gozoli, 46th min.).
Subs Not Used:
2 Mohamed Kesra, 3 Elsadig Hassan, 4 Amjed Ismael Ahmed, 16 Ishag Adam, 20 Suliman Zakaria,
23 M. Mustafa Mohamed, 24 B. Aldakhn Captain, 28 Moaiad Maki.
COACH: Burhan Tia
By Adeboye Amosu, in Garoua