Three goals in a game
Nigeria beat Sudan 3-1 which makes it the first time the Super Eagles have scored at least three goals in any game since March 30, 2021, when they beat Lesotho 3-0 in a qualifying game for this AFCON.
Within that 10-month period, the Super Eagles have played 10 games (excluding Sudan and including the friendly against Mexico) and only managed a maximum of two goals per game.
In those 10 games, Nigeria scored twice in a game four times, once in a game on two occasions and failed to score in four games.
Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Moses scored the goals against Sudan to break that duck and make it rain for Nigeria.
Moses Simon’s renaissance
After his Man-of-the-Match display in the win against Egypt, Moses Simon went a step further with a goal and an assist in a superb display against Sudan.
The diminutive winger had 42 touches, won seven of his eight duels, completed three out of four take-ons, put in five crosses, won two fouls, created two chances.
Two big performances in two games under Augustine Eguavoen suggests that he was being limited by Gernot Rohr, under whom Simon was considered a frustrating player.
Moses Simon himself alludes to the fact that the change in manager has benefited him greatly, even going as far as comparing both Gernot Rohr and Augustine Eguavoen’s philosophies.
“With the previous one (coach), you play according to his instruction but with the current coach, he gives you the freedom to bring what you have from your club. I believe it helps me and my teammates” Moses Simon said in the pre match press conference.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s debut goal
Taiwo Awoniyi scored the second goal against Sudan, a header placed into the bottom corner just before half-time. Whether he knew too much about it is another debate entirely as the ball appeared to deflect off his head and beyond the reach of the Sudan goalkeeper.
But he will not give it much thought as the goal has been awarded to him and now counts as his first goal for the Super Eagles. The goal also doubles as Awoniyi’s first at an AFCON, a landmark moment for the 24-year old striker.