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Nigeria 1-0 Guinea: Kenneth Omeruo’s Goal Sends Super Eagles Into Round Of 16
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Nigeria 1-0 Guinea: Kenneth Omeruo’s Goal Sends Super Eagles Into Round Of 16

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Naby Keita's presence failed to ignite Guinea's Nations Cup campaign as the Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Syli Nationale 1-0 at the Alexandria stadium, Egypt in their second game at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

The lone goal which was scored by Kenneth Omeruo from a Moses Simon corner kick on 73 minutes was enough to help the West Africans secure their second win in the tournament and a place in the next round.

Gernot Rohr made several changes in his selection, with captain Mikel Obi and four other players dropping to the bench.

The changes did have little or no effect on the team as the Super Eagles delivered another average performance.

Wastefulness in front of goal and poor decision making in the final third was a reoccurring theme with Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi the biggest culprits.

The Guineans gave a good account of themselves, playing some beautiful football when they weren't asserting their physicality on the Nigerian men.

Nigeria could have taken the lead in the first half had Odion Ighalo been unselfish enough to square for an unmarked Ahmed Musa in the box during a break. The China-based forward instead decided to go for goal and placed his shot wide.

Guinea's goalkeeper, Ibrahim Kone parried Alex Iwobi's long-range effort moments later to deny Nigeria. The shot-stopper was again the barrier on the hour mark, tipping the Arsenal man's curling shot over the bar.

With the game looking like both teams were going to settle for a draw, Omeruo rose highest to head in a Moses Simon corner with 17 minutes of regulation time left to play.

The goal seemed to dampen the spirit of the Guinea players who failed to carve out any real chance afterward.

Samuel Kalu made a late appearance in the game, substituting the goal creator, Moses Simon in additional time.

The Super Eagles are the first side to book a place in the Round of 16 and could be confirmed as group winners if the game between Burundi and Madagascar fails to produce a winner on Thursday.

Nigeria will play their final group game against Madagascar on Sunday at the same time Guinea will be battling Burundi.