Nigeria cruise into next stage of Cup of Nations with easy win

Nigeria's fans cheer during the African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match between Egypt and Nigeria in Garoua, Cameroon, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. AP

Nigeria recorded a comfortable 3-1 win over Sudan in Garoua on Saturday to stay top of Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations finals, ensuring that they progress to the knockout phase with a second successive victory.

An early goal from Samuel Chukwueze provided a positive start and Taiwo Awoniyi netted their second on the stroke of half-time.

It took Moses Simon just 30 seconds of the second half to add a third, but Sudan pulled a goal back with a fortuitous penalty, converted by Walieldin Khedr with 20 minutes left.

Nigeria now have six points from their opening two games, after beating Egypt on Tuesday, while Sudan have one point.

Chukwueze had an easy tap-in in the third minute after being set up by Simon at the end of a long throw-in.

Captain William Troost Ekong had a close effort from a free kick well saved with Awoniyi hitting the rebound against the bar as Nigeria came close to a second midway through the first half.

It was the same pair who helped Nigeria extend their lead before the break, when Troost Ekong’s effort was blocked but the rebound hit an unsuspecting Awoniyi on the head and went in. The Bundesliga-based striker knew little about the goal but celebrated enthusiastically when he realised what had happened.

Nigeria went straight from the kick off of the second half and scored again, with Simon finishing off a sweeping set of passes, but then gave away an unwitting penalty to their opponents.

Nigeria fullback Ola Aina stood on the foot of Sudan defender Mustapha Abdelgader Karshoum at a corner in an incident ignored by both teams and the referee, but spotted by VAR staff, who asked referee Victor Gomes to look at the incident on the pitchside screen.

He awarded a penalty that Walieldin converted for a consolation goal.

Egypt and Guinea Bissau play their second Group D game later on Saturday at the Roumde Adjia Stadium.


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