Kenneth Omeruo scores send half goals to send Super Eagles in the knockout stage of the 2019 African Cup of Nations after a 1-0 win over Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium on Wednesday evening encounter.
Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr makes five changes from the matchday one squad that triumph over Burundi last Saturday with Chidozie Awaziem, Leon Balogun, Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa all starting the clash against Syli Nationale for John Obi Mikel, Samuel Chukwueze, Shehu Abdullahi and William Troost Ekong.
Simon’s corner sees Omeruo rises to glance home the opener to break the deadlock 17 minutes from time as Super Eagles become the first nations to reach the last 16. Super Eagles best chance of the first stanza came to Odion Ighalo in the 32nd minute when the former Watford striker failed to square the ball the Musa as he thudded the shot into the side-netting. Ndidi slips by Kamano and he tries to pick out Ighalo in the center but Falette does really well to cut out the cross, and it’s him again who deals with the resulting corner. Sixty minutes into the encounter Musa had a run from the midfield, dribbling two Guinea players and finding Ighalo in the 18-yard box, but the ball was blocked by an on-rushing defender.
Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi got his shot some minutes later as he cuts onto his right foot and forces Syli Nationale keeper Kone into a fine save to his right. Iwobi has had his moments in this game and after he collects the ball from Simon, he gets his right-footed shot away, deflecting off the Guinea defender at the expense of a corner. Simon takes the corner from the right side as Chelsea defender Omeruo rose up to nod into the net give Super Eagles a deserved lead in the 73 minutes of the clash. Guinea had a chance to stage a comeback in the 90th minute, but a poorly-taken freekick denied them the opportunity.
The 1-0 victory means Nigeria are now the first team to qualify for the round of 16 with a match to spare against Madagascar in Group B fixtures.