By Dele Ade
Super Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday night made history with an impressive 2-0 win against Guinea-Bissau at the Roumde Adija Stadium, Garoua, finishing their group stage campaign at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon with nine points. This will be the second time the Super Eagles will win all three matches at the group stage.
The first was in 2006 edition hosted by Egypt. Coached by the same Augustine Eguavoen, the Super Eagles won all three matches in Group D which included Senegal, Ghana and Zimbabwe to progress to the quarterfinals where the team beat Tunisia 6-5 penalties after playing 1-1 at full time.
Côte d’Ivoire however defeated Nigeria 1-0 in the semifinal. Nigeria again beat Senegal 1-0 in the third-place match.
In Wednesday’s match against Guinea-Bissau, Head Coach, Austine Eguavoen made eight changes to his line-up with goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, Tyronne Ebuehi, Jamilu Collins, Kelechi Nwakali, Alex Iwobi, Chidera Ejuke and Umar Sadiq making their first start of the competition.
Though they dominated the opening exchanges with the Wild Dogs sitting deep, they however struggled to carve out any meaningful goal scoring opportunities despite their dominance.
Sadiq and Semi Ajayi wasted Nigeria’s best chance in the first half.
The Wild Dogs came to scoring late in the first half with Panutche Camara shot going just wide.
The Super Eagles got a reward for their attacking display when Sadiq netted the opener in the 56 minute following a superb cross from Kelechi Iheanacho.
Watford defender William Troost- Ekong put the game beyond Guinea-Bissau with the second goal 15 minutes from time.
The West Africans will wait for the completion of group stage games on Thursday to know their opponent.