Sport

AFCON 2021: Nigeria finish group stages with maximum points after Guinea-Bissau win

Troost-EKong-vs-Guinea-Bissau

Nigeria beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in their final Group D fixture at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Sadiq Umar scored his first goal for the Super Eagles, before captain William Troost-Ekong added a second in the second half.

The win ensured Augustine Eguavoen’s men finished with nine points.

Umar, who has been criticised for some glaring misses in previous games, netted when Kelechi Iheanacho’s excellent pass with the outside of his boot across the goal provided a tap-in for the tall forward at the back post.

Nigeria were in cruise control and scored a second as William Troost Ekong netted from close-range after Moses Simon had hit the crossbar following a mazy run into the box.

Nigeria had already won the pool before kickoff, but became the only team to enter the second round with three wins. Egypt finished second with six points, while Guinea-Bissau and Sudan ended with a point each.

The result ensured Cape Verde and Malawi advance as two of the four best third-placed teams in the group stages, with the latter reaching the knockout rounds for the first time.

Nigeria have been slick and stylish in the matches to date and while not quite at their best in this one, coach Augustine Eguavoen was able to make eight changes with the job already done in the pool.

Guinea-Bissau have now failed to score in their last seven Cup of Nations matches spanning three finals, the first time a side has gone so long without a goal. They are also waiting for their first ever win.

They rarely threatened Nigeria and the closest they came was a free kick that whistled just past the post with Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho struggling to make up the ground.

There was a long Video Assistant Referee check for a potential offside on Nigeria’s second goal after 75 minutes as Ekong reacted quickest to turn the ball home, but the decision eventually went his way in what looked a tight call.

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