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2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Iheanacho Hands Nigeria Victory Over Egypt

Nigeria put in sensational showing at the Roumde Adjia Stadium as they managed to shut out Egypt and claim an impressive 1-0 win thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s first-half strike.

The first opportunity of the first half fell to Mostafa Mohamed as the Egypt striker sent a shot from a very tight angle but it was easily saved by Nigeria goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.

The Pharaohs suffered an early set back when Akram Tawfik had to leave the field injured in the 10th minute and was replaced by Mohamed Abdelmoneim.

Ten minutes later, the play had to be stopped and officials were forced to find a new ball for the second time as there had been an issue with air pressure.

The first significant shot on goal came for Nigeria on the 26th minute courtesy of Nantes’ winger Moses Simon, but his effort sailed just past the post.

Super Eagles took control of the game after that and took the lead on the 30th minute with a well deserving goal coming from the left foot of Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho who ripped a shot into the top-right corner to beat Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.

Nigeria threatened again in the 43rd minute as Moses Simon’s long range strike drew a fine save from El Shenawy.

Egypt hardly had a touch in the Nigerian third of the pitch, and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was nowhere to be found.

That was about as exciting as the first half got with Nigeria entering the break leading the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Group D encounter 1-0.


Egypt controlled the game at the start of the second half, but only managed their first opening on the hour mark when Mohamed Salah drove into the box, but saw his 16-yard shot well-saved by Maduka.

In the  68th minute came Iheanacho close to double scoring when he met a left-wing cross from Ola Aina, but he saw his 14-yard volley cleared off the line by Ahmed Hegazi.

In the 73rd minute Mo Slah had another chance for the Pharaohs, but his effort went wide of goal.

With ten minutes to go Samuel Chukwueze had a chance for the Super Eagles, but his shot sailed wide to the right.

Five minutes later Iheanacho had another chance as he reached a Zaidu Sanusi pass into the box, but he headed off target, and in the end, the Leicester City’s striker goal was enough to earn Nigeria the win.

How they lined up:

Egypt: Mohamed Al-Shennawi – Akram Tawfik (Mohamed Abdel Moneim), Ahmed Hegazi, Mahmoud ‘El-Wensh’ Hamdy, Ahmed Fatouh (Ayman Ashraf 46) – Mohamed Elneny, Hamdi Fathy, Omar Marmoush, Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan, Mohamed Salah – Mostafa Mohamed.

Nigeria: Maduka Okoye – Joe Aribo, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, William Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Wilfred Ndidi, Moses Simon – Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi, Kelechi Iheanacho.

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