100 per cent record
Nigeria was the only team at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to win all three group stage games, the Super Eagles finished with a 100% record.
They of course won the group in the process, making it the first time they finished top of an AFCON group since 2006.
It was a huge milestone for the Super Eagles, who had only achieved the feat twice before in their long history.
The first time was at Senegal 1992 when Nigeria won both of their Group Stage games against the hosts and Kenya; each group had three teams at the time.
The other time they had a perfect Group Stage was at Egypt 2006 where they defeated Ghana, Zimbabwe and Senegal.
The most noteworthy thing about this feat is that Augustine Eguavoen has been involved every time Nigeria had a perfect Group Stage run.
The current interim manager was a player in the 1992 squad, the head coach in 2006 and now leads the team in 2022, safe to say he is Nigeria’s lucky charm.
Joint-most Group Stage goals
The Super Eagles scored six goals in the group stage, which is the joint-most they have ever scored in any Africa Cup of Nations Group Stage and the first time they have scored that many since 2004.
Nigeria have only had three six-goal group stage campaigns in the past: Ethiopia 1976, Ghana/Nigeria 2000 and Tunisia 2004 were the only other editions of the AFCON in which the Super Eagles scored as many as six goals in the Group Stage.
Another record is the number of goalscorers, as all six goals have been scored by different players – the highest since Ghana/Nigeria 2000.
The current Super Eagles already have six different goalscorers without even playing in the knockout rounds yet, which means they are well on course to break that record if just one more different player finds the net in subsequent games.
Highest ever goal difference
We have already mentioned that Nigeria scored six goals in the Group Stages of AFCON 2021, but they also only conceded once in the opening three games.
Walieldin Khidir’s 70th-minute penalty for Sudan was the only time Nigeria’s defence was breached. As a result, the Super Eagles finished the group stage with a +5 goal difference, which is their best in AFCON history.
The three other times Nigeria scored six goals in an AFCON Group Stage, they went on to concede at least twice, which affected the goal difference.
AFCON 2021 is only the fifth time Nigeria have conceded just once in the Group Stages, equalling the records from Nigeria 1980, Morocco 1988, Egypt 2006 and Ghana 2008.
The Super Eagles will have to try again in subsequent editions to match the stellar defensive efforts of Tunisia 1994 and Mali 2002, where they didn’t concede a single Group Stage goal.