Nigeria are the first team to book their place in the knockout stages of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, having done so with a 1-0 win over Guinea at Alexandria Stadium on Wednesday.
Kenneth Omeruo scored the only goal of the game as the Super Eagles made it two wins from two matches at this year’s showpiece in Egypt.
Victory moves the 2013 champions up to six points in Group B, five clear of Guinea and Madagascar who face Burundi at the same venue Thursday, June 27, in afternoon.
The game got off to an exhilarating start with the heat having seemingly no effect on the players who vowed to entertain those in attendance.
Daniel Akpeyi survived a nervy moment from Ibrahima Cisse’s rather tame effort in the second minute, before Odion Ighalo squandered a gilt-edged chance at the other end four minutes later.
Ahmed Musa skinned his man before teeing up the burly forward, but he couldn’t add to the goal he scored in Nigeria’s tournament opener; miscuing his effort with the goal at his mercy.
Ighalo would trouble the side-netting just after the half-hour mark before Ibrahim Koné pulled off his first of two saves to deny Alex Iwobi in the 37th minute. The Arsenal winger tested the Guinea shot-stopper later in the game as well.
Much of the same followed after the break, but Syli Nationale were dealt a blow in the 71st minute as Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita had to leave the field injured. Having received treatment to no avail, Paul Put decided to take no chances with what is his star asset.
Omeruo opened the scoring two minutes later — the centre-back the unlikely scorer from a pin-point Moses Simon corner-kick. Having lost his man, he made no mistake nodding home at the near post to give Nigeria the lead.
Guinea pushed bodies forward in search of the equaliser in the closing stages, but the Super Eagles held firm for what is their sixth Afcon win in a row.
Nigeria (0) 1 (Omeruo 73′)
Guinea (0) 0
Nigeria: Akpeyi; Aina, Balogun, Awaziem, Omeruo, Ndidi, Etebo, Musa, Ighalo (Onuachu 88′), Simon (Kalu 90+3′), Iwobi (Chukwueze 78′).
Guinea: Kone; Sylla, Seka, Falette, Dyrestam (Sidibe 73′), Diawara, N.Keita (Bangoura 71′), Cisse, Kamano (Koita 82′), Traore, Kaba.