AFCON: Nigeria Seal Qualification for Round of 16

Super Eagles of Nigeria have sealed qualification for the next round of the African Cup of Nations, after defeating Sudan in their second group game. 

The Nigerians were quick to get out of the blocks in the encounter as they on the third minute courtesy Samuel Chukwueze. The Sudanese defence failed to deal with a throw-in from Ola Aina and the resulting ball fell to the feet of in-form winger Moses Simon, who laid it on the plate for Chukwueze to finish. 

Sudan grew into the game afterwards and forced the Super Eagles to some errors but hardly threatened the Nigerian defence. Nigeria grabbed a second in the 45th minute through Union Berlin striker, Taiwo Awoniyi. A free kick from attacker Kelechi Iheanacho was met with a glancing header by William Troost Ekong, and again was poorly dealt with by the Sudan defence. Awoniyi was rather lucky in the buildup as the ball bounced off his face into the net as he got his first AFCON goal. 

Nigeria had missed some gilt-edged chances before they scored a second on the stroke of half-time and went into the break holding a comfortable lead.

The second half had hardly kicked off when the Nigerians launched another attack with Awoniyi holding up a Sudanese defender for an on-rushing Simon, who intelligently drifted the ball past his marker and finished calmly. Nigerian coach Austin Eguavoen made changes afterwards as he brought on Kelechi Nwakali for the impressive Joe Aribo, while Kelechi Iheanacho was substituted for skipper Ahmed Musa. 

Sudan got a goal back in the 70th minute after Ola Aina was adjudged to have fouled a Sudanese player in the box. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) picked the situation and informed the referee who used the pitch side monitor to confirm the foul. Nigeria conceded the penalty and conceded their first goal of the tournament but had done enough to earn a place in the next round of the competition. 


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