Wednesday , June 19 2024

Nigeria eliminated after defeat to Egypt

Nigeria crashed out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers losing 1-0 to hosts Egypt in Alexandria.

It will be the second time in two years that the Super Eagles have failed to qualify for the Nations Cup.

Egypt now have a comfortable seven points with a trip to Tanzania, who they defeated in June 3-0 their last group game.

Mathematically, Tanzania could still beat Egypt to Gabon 2017 should they win their remaining two matches very well to cancel their loss in Egypt.

Nigeria have only two points and even if they trounced Tanzania in September, they will not be at Gabon 2017.

Teenager Radwan Sobhi grabbed the all-important goal in the 65th minute, when his toed effort from just inside the box trickled behind a sea of Nigerian legs and past goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

Despite their galaxy of foreign stars, Nigeria never really stretched the Egypt backline except in the 84th minute, when Victor Moses shot from outside the box came off the post with the Egypt goalkeeper well beaten.

It was also the same time in the game in Kaduna, when he rounded goalkeeper Ahmed Shennawi, but his shot was cleared off the goalline by an Egyptian defender.

Hosts Egypt created the better chances in the first half but Nigeria also had their moments during a goalless first half at a packed Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

Nigeria played with a lot of confidence and dictated the tempo of the game for a good period of the first 45 minutes.

Egypt created two early openings – Ahmed Hegazy headed narrowly past the Nigeria goal after five minutes and almost immediately skipper Al-Said fired with a left foot from inside the box.

The impressive Al-Said then delivered a low cross from the left in the 29th minute, but Mohamed Salah was not close to make contact.

In the closing minutes of the first half, Nigeria goalkeeper Akpeyi pulled off two big saves from Ibrahim Salah and again skipper Al-Said.

In the seventh minute, Umar Aminu dashed into the Egyptian goal area, but his shot was firmly held by the goalkeeper.

Odion Ighalo had a half chance when he controlled the ball inside the box, but he shot wide in the 15th minute Eagles starting XI vs Egypt: .Daniel Apeyi –  Shehu Abdullahi, Stanley Amuzie (Elderson Echiejile 46), Godfrey Oboabona, Efe Ambrose – Mikel Obi, Oghenekaro Etebo (Azubuike Okechukwu 63), Umar Aminu (Alex Iwobi 73) – Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo

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