Nigeria have qualified for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations after a comfortable 3-1 win over Sudan to make it two from two in Group D.
An early goal from Villarreal forward Samuel Chukwueze provided a positive start for the three-time champions before Taiwo Awoniyi got their second on the stroke of half-time at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium in Garoua.
It took Moses Simon just 30 seconds of the second half to add a third, but Sudan pulled a goal back with a fortuitous penalty, converted by Walieldin Khedr with 20 minutes left.
Nigeria now have six points from their opening two games after beating Egypt on Tuesday, while Sudan have one point. Egypt take on Guinea-Bissau in Saturday’s later Group D match.
The Super Eagles made the perfect start when Chukwueze tapped home in the third minute after being set up by Simon at the end of a long throw-in. The Nigeria captain William Troost Ekong had a close effort from a free kick well saved, with Awoniyi hitting the rebound against the bar midway through the first half.
The TotalEnergies Man of the Match award goes to the outstanding Moses Simon for his out of the world performance! 💪
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 15, 2022
It was the same pair who helped Nigeria extend their lead before the break, when Troost Ekong’s effort was blocked but the rebound hit an unsuspecting Awoniyi on the head and went in. The former Liverpool forward knew little about the goal but celebrated enthusiastically when he realised what had happened.
Nigeria struck even earlier in the second half, going forward straight from the kick off and scoring again. Simon finished off a sweeping set of passes and celebrated in acrobatic style. Sudan got a consolation goal from the penalty spot after Ola Aina stood on the foot of defender Mustafa Karshoum at a corner.
The incident was ignored by both teams and the referee, but spotted by the VAR, who asked referee Victor Gomes to look at the incident on the pitchside screen. He awarded a penalty that Walieldin converted. Sudan face neighbours Egypt in their final game on Wednesday, with Nigeria taking on Guinea-Bissau.