Following Nigeria’s impressive 3-1 win over Sudan in the AFCON 2021 Group D clash at the Roumde Adija stadium in Garoua on Saturday, here we highlights 5 standout observations from the game.
1. Simon proved his class once again:
Nante’s French winger Moses Simon is undoubtedly enjoying a new lease of life under Nigeria’s interim head coach Austine Eguavoen. He was one of the players who underperformed under former head coach, Gernot Rohr, but is now reborn under the new manager and and is lighting up AFCON 2021 with his heroism.
2. Omeruo and Troost-Ekong partnership is getting stronger:
The unavailability of Glasgow Rangers defender Leon Balogun through injury gave Kenneth Omeruo a big chance to claim a regular spot in the Super Eagles and the Leganes man seized the opportunity with both hands.
3. Eagles forwards need to step up:
Taiwo Awoniyi and Umar Sadiq were expected to take responsibility for scoring goals for the Super Eagles in the CAN2021 final in Cameroon after the absence of Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo, but the two failed to live up to expectations until present in this competition
Awoniyi secured a starting spot for the second game in a row against Sudan and although the Union Berlin striker was on target against the Jediane Falcons, he didn’t make too much of an impact.
His replacement, Umar Sadiq was criticized by head coach Austine Eguavoen after the match for not following his instructions on the pitch
4. Nwakali set to justify his inclusion in the team.
Much was expected of Kelechi Nwakali following his surprise inclusion in the Nigeria squad for the competition, but staunch Super Eagles supporters are still waiting for the SD Huesca midfielder to show he belongs at this level after shining for the U -17 and U-20s.
The midfielder was given a cameo role against Egypt but was given more minutes to show what he can do against Sudan but he didn’t do enough to convince the technical team and the fans that he is ready for the big stage.
5. Wing play is the mighty “Nigerian football”
The Super Eagles thrived on quick and smart wingers during their most successful period, and current interim head coach Austine Eguavoen appears to have brought philosophy and practicality back to the squad during the AFCON 2021. As in the previous game against Egypt, the wingers were back in Sudan and that contributed to their successful outing.
While Moses Simon tormented the Jediane Falcons on the left wing, Samuel Chukwueze was a thorn in their flesh on the right.