The second true heavyweight match of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations saw Nigeria take firm control of Group D with a 1-0 victory over Mohamed Salah and Egypt.
After Monday’s game between Morocco and Ghana saw the Atlas Lions come away with a 1-0 victory, we were treated to another matchup of expected title contenders, and the result showed one side is far more prepared to push for the crown than the other.
Liverpool superstar Salah was entirely locked down, with little to show for his 90-minute effort as Nigeria smothered the Egyptian playmaker.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s early goal proved the difference as Nigeria fended off a late Pharoahs push to claim all three points.
Both teams are expected to progress from Group D despite today’s result, but Nigeria’s victory sets the Super Eagles up nicely for a better Round of 16 matchup and a deep run deep in the tournament, while Egypt will feel added pressure in its other group stage matches against Guinea-Bissau and Sudan.
A structured Nigeria side comprehensively swallowed up Mohamed Salah and nobody else on Egypt stepped up. Zizo came off the bench and gave the Pharoahs a chance, but it wasn’t enough.
For Nigeria, Moses Simon was easily the Man of the Match, with a blistering performance down the left flank.
The Super Eagles have one foot in the knockout stage with the early haymaker