By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Two first half goals and another goal in the second half ensured that Nigeria’s Super Eagles defeated Sudan’s Falcons of Jediane 3-1 in the
Match Day 2 of Group D at Stade Roumde Adjia, Garoua to qualify for the Round of 16 of the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.
It was a battle of two birds with one known for its strength to soar higher, even against the winds and was exactly what Super Eagles did against the Sudanese team.
Nigeria went into early offensive in the cool Saturday evening in Garoua and it took only three minutes before Spanish La Liga club, Villarreal’s forward, Samuel Chukwueze scored a beautiful low drive which beat Sudanese goalkeeper, Maumood Alshrine.
Nigeria made it two goals in the 45 minute when Taiwo Awoniyi’s head deflected the ball and Sudan’s goalkeeper fumbled it into his own net while the third goal for Nigeria came immediately after the resumption after winger, Moses Simon scored at close range in the 46 minute.
However, one moment of madness by Super Eagles Center Back, Olaoluwa Aina gifted Sudan a penalty scored by Abdel Sofour in the 70 minute. He was adjudged by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to have stamped on a Sudanese player in the 68 minute.
Aside the penalty, the Sudanese were no threats to the Nigerians except on two or three occasions when Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye’s ball timing was called for questioning.
Interim Manager, Augustine Eguavoen started the same line-up against Egypt in the first match but had to make early substitutions when
Alex Iwobi replaced Chukwueze in the 45 minute.
Also, Captain Ahmed Musa came in for Iheanacho while Kelechi Nwakali took the place of Joseph Aribo in the 71 minute just as gangling forward,
Umar Sodiq replaced Awoniyi in the 81 minute.
Tried as the Sudanese did, they could not breakdown the Nigerian side to score more goals until the end of the match.
Speaking to reporters after the encounter in Garoua, Nigerian coach, Augustine Eguavoen praised the Sudanese for giving Nigeria a good match.
“Sudan is not a pushover; the competition provides for a 3rd best team in the group stage so Sudan came out to fight”, he said.
Asked if Nigeria is among the favourites for the AFCON trophy in Cameroon, he said:
“It’s same question every now and then
We ‘ll feel good if we win the trophy but we are taking it one game at a time”.