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AFCON 2021: 3 lessons we learnt from Day 7 as Nigeria qualified and Egypt won their first game

January 16th 2022, 11:56:17 am

VAR played a part in both Group D games in Garoua

Moses Simon (Nigeria)

Group D heavyweights Nigeria and Egypt were both winners on the day as the second round of games at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continued in Garoua.

While for Nigeria, it was a case of qualifying to the knockout stages of the competition, for Sudan, Egypt, and Guinea-Bissau, it was a case of grabbing their first victory. With both games now completed, we look at the lessons learnt on Day 7.

AFP/AFP
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The Super Eagles were expectedly dominant in their Group D display against Sudan. Despite rounding off the first half in the lead thanks to goals from Samuel Chukwueze and Taiwo Awoniyi, they continued to dominate the game in the second half preventing Sudan from achieving much.

With 446 passes completed off 528, and an 84% accuracy, Austin Eguavoen's side showed again, that they can get ball playing. Although their domination in the second half dropped towards the later stages, Nigeria proved that rather than relax and be pressured, they would own the game and take it to their opponents.

Egypt despite being desperate to get a win in their second Group D game, kept cool heads as their managed a 1-0 win over Guinea-Bissau to go second.

The game not only saw the Pharaohs dominate in attempts at goal, ball possession, attacking threats and completed passes, also saw them hit the woodwork on four occasions. But their breakthrough eventually came a Salah found space to slot a volley past Jonas Mendes. Luckily, Egypt had extra help from the VAR to keep the scoreline at 1-0 full-time.

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Sudan got their first goal of the tournament after a penalty review at the VAR meant they were to be awarded a spot-kick. Walieldin Khidir, on his part, did not fail to execute his given assignment as he waited for Maduka Okoye to commit before slotting the penalty into the right of the goal. Although a little too late, Sudan would be glad to the VAR for aiding them to open their goal account in the 3-1 defeat.

AFP/AFP

Egypt, on their part, got lucky. With Guinea-Bissau getting an equalizer thanks to a majestic strike by Mama Balde into the bottom right corner, VAR once again stepped in not to offer a path to a goal for the losing side this time but to reject their equalizer and award the Egyptians a freekick.

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