2019 AFCON: Nigeria Pip Guinea 1-0 For Last 16 Spot

  • Egypt 2 vs DR Congo 0
  • Uganda 1 vs Zimbabwe 1

BY EDMOND ODOK – Another lone strike from an unlikely source  was all Nigeria needed to sneak past hard fighting Guinea into the last 16 stage of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt.

Defender Kenneth Omeruo’s 73rd minute header spoke volumes and gave the Super Eagles leverage as the first team to qualify for the competition’s knockout phase

However, the encounter was one that had the Guinean star player, Naby Keita struggling while the Super Eagles were guilty of wastefulness in front of goal on several occasions.

Against all expectations, the Liverpool of England midfielder failed to spark the Syli Stars’ AFCON campaign into life with another uninspiring performance that saw the Coach withdrawing him from action midway into the second half.

Returning to match fitness and making his first start for either club or country since May 1, 2019, Keita could not inspire his compatriots who are now in real danger of an early exit from the championship.

In a largely uneventful match played in the Port city of Alexandria, the Super Eagles’ breakthrough finally came off Moses Simon’s 73rd-minute corner delivery that saw Omeruo towering above the Guineans to nod the ball home.

The star performer on the day was the Guinean goalkeeper, Ibrahim Kone, who produced two excellent saves to thwart a pair of efforts from Eagles’ forward Alex Iwobi.

However, Kone’s heroic display still proved fruitless and inadequate on the day, just as the victory ended Nigeria’s four-match winless streak against the Syli Nationale.

After coming on as a substitute in Guinea’s 2-2 draw with Madagascar in their opening tie, Keita almost marked his first start in eight weeks with an assist early on, but Sory Kaba failed to take the midfielder’s through ball into his path.

Again, Francois Kamano sent a free kick wide as the Syli Stars kept up the pressure. On the other hand, Nigeria almost took the lead before half time but Kone’s timely intervention proved the saving grace as he went down promptly to stop Iwobi’s goal bound effort.

Just after the hour mark, Kone again came to his country’s rescue, doing well to prevent another Iwobi’s strike from shaking their net.

Keita’s underwhelming return came to an end in the 71st minute when he was replaced by Lass Bangoura, and Guinea’s resistance was broken moments later with Omeruo glancing a header into the far corner after connecting with Simon’s delivery.

Despite the spirited rallies by the Guineans late on, the Super Eagles had little trouble holding out for the desired victory that has now guaranteed their place in the round of 16 with the last Group B games still to play.

Key Opta Facts

  • Nigeria have won their last six games at the Africa Cup of Nations; the longest streak in their history.
  • They have not conceded more than one goal in each of their six encounters. 
  • Guinea are winless in their last seven games at the Africa Cup of Nations (D5 L2), their longest streak in their history.
  • Guinea have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 14 AFCON games – Additional reports from goal.com



Nigeria 2226

+ 2


11221+ 0

– 1



– 1





2236+ 3
Uganda  211314

+ 2




DR Congo


– 4

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply