AFCON: Nigeria Conquer Guinea Bissau, Advance To Knockout Stage

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Wednesday in Garoua advanced in style to the knockout phase of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

They beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 at the Stade Roumde Adjia to become the only side at this 33rd edition of the competition to win their three group games.

The winners of groups A, B and C who had advanced earlier failed to win all three games.

The Group D winners made eight changes to the side that beat Sudan on Saturday, with six on the bench and two unavailable.

Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Zaidu Sanusi, and forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze and Taiwo Awoniyi dropped to the bench.

On their part, Olaoluwa Aina and Joseph Aribo did not dress for the game.

This did show in the Super Eagles game, with the team almost strolling through the first half. It took them time to get going, with their opponents not providing something better too.

But it was not too long after the restart that they got going, with Umar Sadiq opening the scoring following a cross from Kelechi Iheanacho in the 56th minute.

After that, the Super Eagles took full charge, with Simon coming in for Chidera Ejuke and Peter Olayinka for Sadiq.

William Ekong sealed the win after he tapped in a rebound following a good job by Simon from the left flank.

Olisa Ndah, Frank Onyeka and Henry Onyekuru later came on for Tyrone Ebuehi, Kelechi Nwakali and Iheanacho, respectively, to steady their game and hold on to their lead.

The win took Nigeria to nine points from three matches, sealing their top spot in the group and condemning Guinea Bissau to bottom place.

The Super Eagles now await the best of the third-placed teams in groups B, E and F as their opponents in the next stage on Sunday in Garoua.

Meanwhile, seven-time champions Egypt beat Sudan 1-0 in the group’s other game to finish second behind Nigeria and qualify for the last 16 round.

Mohamed Abdelmonem scored the game’s only goal after heading home Abdallah El Said’s corner-kick in the 35th minute.

Sudan offered little opposition, though, with Egypt going close to a second goal through a Mohamed Salah effort which goalkeeper Mohamed Mustafa saved in the second half.