Nigeria made a bit of history at the ongoing 2021 AFCON as goals from Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Moses Simon helped them to a 3-1 win over Sudan in their Group D encounter at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Super Eagles had begun their campaign with a superb 1-0 win over Egypt at the same venue, and they continued in the same vein on Saturday.
They went into the game as the clear favourites, and they confirmed the tag right from the start as Chukwueze put them ahead inside three minutes.
The Villarreal winger fired in from inside the box after Simon laid a ball for him following a long throw from Ola Aina. Chukwueze’s goal is the fastest goal that has been scored in the competition.
Nigeria continued to dominate after the goal and should have doubled their lead on numerous occasions, but Simon, Awoniyi and Aribo were guilty of missing big chances.
The first chance fell into Aribo, who got into a promising position following a brilliant ball from Chukwueze, but the Rangers man could only fire straight at the keeper.
The rebound did fall into the path of Awoniyi, but he could only hit the post while Simon’s shot from the follow-up was cleared off the line.
Nonetheless, Austin Eguavoen’s men did get their second goal through Awoniyi, albeit in fortunate circumstances.
The Union Berlin star headed home in the 45th minute after an Ekong header ricocheted off Sudan’s captain into his path.
His goal ensured the Super Eagles became the first team in the competition to score two goals in the first half with one from open play.
Nigeria started the second half the same way the first ended as Simon got on the act to put the team three goals ahead.
The Nantes winger capitalised on a brilliant hold-up play from Awoniyi to slot past Ali Abdullah Abou in Sudan’s goal in the 46th minute.
Simon’s goal killed any little hope Sudan had left, but they did pull one back through Walieldin Khidir’s 70th-minute penalty after Ola Aina was adjudged to have committed an offence in the box.
It was only a consolation, though, as Nigeria made it two wins out of two to seal their place in the round of 16.
The Super Eagles will secure top spot in the group if they beat Guinea-Bissau in their final group game on Wednesday.