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Nigeria 3-1 Sudan: 5 things we learnt from Super Eagles win

January 15th 2022, 8:13:03 pm

Chukwueze, Awoniyi and Simon all got themselves on the scoresheet for the Super Eagles

Moses Simon celebrates after scoring Nigeria's third goal

Following a 3-1 victory in their second 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group D game against Sudan, Nigeria have easily booked their place in the knockout stages of the competition.

They are the fifth team to qualify after hosts Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea and Morocco. But did the win over the Falcons of Jediane leave any lessons for Austin Eguavoen's side heading into their future fixtures?

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After putting up a wonderful display against Egypt in Nigeria's first group game, Simon put up yet another against Sudan. A goal, an assist and multiple contributions to his teammates for most of the game made the Nantes man a worry for the Sudan defence. His low drive past Ali Aboeshren for Nigeria's third was icing for him as he grabbed the Man of the Match award at full time.

While William Troost-Ekong might have been considered good in defence, his choice of long balls over short passes to his teammates showed how much of a risk he can be. Should Nigeria play a faster, more intelligent team, Troost-Ekong's long (most times, misplaced) passes could spell doom.

While Nigeria might play beautiful football under Eguavoen, his tactical choices for substitutions tend to mess such beauty up. Alex Iwobi for Samuel Chukwueze, Ahmed Musa for Kelechi Iheanacho, Kelechi Nwakali for Joe Aribo and Sadiq Umar for Taiwo Awoniyi, all four substituted players performing worse than the players they came in for.

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A cameo appearance for Nigeria's lanky Almeria striker ended in a mess for both the Super Eagles and the striker himself. His uncoordinated runs led to him missing 3 big chances he was offered in the final moments of the game. His performance should lead Eguavoen to consider maybe Peter Olayinka as a more suitable option in the next game.

A couple of jittery saves in latter part of the second half left Super Eagles fans wondering if Okoye can withstand proper pressure from tougher opposition. Although the 22-year-old keeper might have only lost his clean sheet to a Sudanese penalty converted by Walieldin Khidir, he showed there is plenty of cause for concern going forward.

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