Iheanacho nets winner as Nigeria sink Egypt


Kelechi Iheanacho was on target as Nigeria comfortably beat seven-time champions Egypt in their Africa Cup of Nations Group D opener.

The Leicester City striker opened the scoring in the 30th minute, burying a stunning half-volley on the turn.

Nigeria dominated throughout, with Egypt keeper Mohamed El Shenawy tipping a Taiwo Awoniyi header on to the bar and twice denying Chidera Ejuke.

The Pharaohs offered little in response after falling behind in Garoua.

Iheanacho soars for Super Eagles

Iheanacho’s performance up front will be a welcome relief to Super Eagles supporters, with fellow Nigeria strikers Victor Osimhen, Emmanuel Dennis and Odion Ighalo all forced out of the squad for Cameroon.

The Foxes man impressed throughout the first half, feeding in Awoniyi who saw a tame effort saved shortly before the break.

The Super Eagles were well-supported at the Roumde Adjia Stadium, less than 400 miles from Nigeria

Nigeria, three-time African champions, continued to push for a second after half-time with El Shenawy twice keeping out substitute Chidera Ejuke in the closing stages.

Ultimately though one goal was enough for the West Africans, lead by interim manager Augustin Eguavoen with new boss Jose Peseiro only observing from the stands.

The Super Eagles had sacked long-serving boss Gernot Rohr just four weeks before the tournament following an underwhelming World Cup qualification campaign.

Pharaohs fall flat in opener

Egypt were lacklustre for much of the proceedings, managing just one shot in the opening 70 minutes.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, who has reaffirmed his desire to stay at Anfield, repeatedly found himself isolated up front as Nigeria dictated the match’s tempo.

The forward was played through by substitute Ahmed Sayed with 20 minutes remaining but his mishit shot was saved by the legs of Nigeria keeper Maduka Okoye.

Nigeria will face Sudan in Group D on Saturday (16:00 GMT), while Egypt take on Guinea-Bissau (19:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Nigeria

Formation 4-2-2-2

  • 1Okoye
  • 2Aina
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 22OmeruoSubstituted forAjayiat 79′minutes
  • 12Sanusi
  • 10Aribo
  • 4Ndidi
  • 17ChukwuezeSubstituted forEjukeat 72′minutes
  • 15SimonSubstituted forIwobiat 90+1′minutes
  • 14IheanachoSubstituted forNwakaliat 80′minutes
  • 19AwoniyiSubstituted forSadiqat 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Ajayi
  • 7Musa
  • 8Onyeka
  • 11Onyekuru
  • 13Ejuke
  • 16Akpeyi
  • 18Iwobi
  • 21Ebuehi
  • 23Uzoho
  • 24Sadiq
  • 25Nwakali
  • 26Ndah

Egypt

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Gomaa
  • 25El HagrasiSubstituted forAbdelmonem Elsayed Mohamed Ahmedat 12′minutes
  • 6Hegazy
  • 15HamdiSubstituted forMohamed Ragaei Bakrat 90′minutes
  • 13MohamedSubstituted forAshrafat 45′minutes
  • 7TrézéguetSubstituted forSayedat 58′minutes
  • 5Abdul Fattah
  • 17Elneny
  • 14Ahmed AbdallahSubstituted forSobhiat 58′minutes
  • 10Salah
  • 22Marmoush

Substitutes

  • 2Abdelmonem Elsayed Mohamed Ahmed
  • 3Abdel Wahed
  • 8Abdelghany
  • 9Mohamed Ragaei Bakr
  • 11Sobhi
  • 12Ashraf
  • 18Ahmed Abdelmonem
  • 19Bekhit
  • 20Eldin Mahmoud Ibrahim
  • 21Sayed
  • 23Daader
  • 24Ahmed

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