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Nigeria whip Sudan 3-1, zoom into knockout phase, Salah goal rekindles Egyptian qualification hopes

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In picture above: Wilfred Ndidi went close for Nigeria early on against Sudan on Saturday. Credit: Getty Images

Nigeria’s Super Eagles beat their Sudanese counterparts 3-1 in a Group D clash at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at Garoua in Cameroon to advance to the knockout phase of the competition.

An early goal from Samuel Chukwueze in the 3rd minute provided a positive start and Taiwo Awoniyi netted the Super Eagles’ second on the stroke of half-time.

It took Moses Simon just 30 seconds of the second half to add a third, but Sudan pulled a goal back with a fortuitous penalty, converted by Walieldin Khedr with 20 minutes left.

The result means Nigeria stays top of Group D and ensures that they progress to the knockout phase with a second successive victory.

The Super Eagles now have six points from their opening two games, after beating Egypt on Tuesday, while Sudan have one point.

EditPro | Lagos Metropolitan newspaper Egypt s Mohamed Salah in action by Soriano Mane of Guinea-Bissau during the African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match between Egypt and Guinea-Bissau in Garoua, Cameroon, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. AP

Egypt and Guinea Bissau play their second Group D game later on Saturday at the Roumde Adjia Stadium.

In the match between Egypt and Guinea Bissau, Mohamed Salah scored his first goal in six matches for his country to grant them a 1-0 win over the West African, earning Egypt their first points of the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Salah’s 69th minute effort came despite a largely anonymous performance from the Egyptian forward as his team battled to beat Guinea Bissau.

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The result was clouded in controversy as Guinea Bissau had a late equaliser ruled out after a VAR check. Mama Balde thought he had scored with a screamer from a tight angle to level in the 82nd but the referee, after consulting the pitchside monitor, decided he had fouled a defender in the build-up to the goal.

Egypt are now second in Group D after playing two games, three points behind leaders Nigeria who earlier beat Sudan 3-1.

It looked a harsh decision, leaving Guinea Bissau still without a goal in their last six finals matches stretching back to 2017 and now with slim hopes of progressing. They have one point.

“It was a tough game, we just did it at the end. We were a bit lucky with the foul,” said Salah.

Egypt needed the win after losing their opening Group D game against Nigeria, provoking loud criticism from pundits and supporters back home.

“We just needed to win the game to concentrate on going as far as we can in the tournament. As you can see, it’s a very hard tournament, it’s going to be tough but we’ll do our best,” added Salah.

Egypt finishes the opening round against Sudan in Yaounde next Wednesday while Guinea Bissau takes on group leaders Nigeria in Garoua at the same time.

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