Nigeria finished Group D with nine points following a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau at the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Super Eagles Coach, Austin Eguavoen made eight changes to the team, having already qualified for the round of 16 with only the top spot to be played for.
Kelechi Nwakali, who was starting his first game of the competition, found Sadiq Umar twice in the space of three minutes but the lanky striker wasted the opportunity to test the goalkeeper on both occasions.
At the other end, Mama Blade clattered into Francis Uzoho in goal for Nigeria but both players came out without injuries after medical attention. Both sides wanted the win and went into 50/50 challenges without holding back.
Iheanacho was bundled to the ground inside the penalty area but the referee waved it away. Nigeria’s best opportunity fell to Umar after fine work by Nwakali set him on goal but his attempt to dribble past the goalkeeper backfired as Guinea-Bissau recovered and cleared the danger.
Another corner from Nwakali fell to Iheanacho but his half volley was straight at the goalkeeper, who saved easily. Nigeria continued to dominate the game but the first half finished goalless.
‘Senior man’ Iheanacho produced a great pass at the restart and Umar tapped in at the far post. That was his last action of the night as he was replaced by Slavia Prague’s Peter Olayinka while Moses Simon came on for Chidera Ejuke.
The win means that Coach Austin Eguavoen equalled his record from 2006 when he won all the group games. The Super Eagles finished top of Group D with nine points, Egypt placed second with six points while Sudan came third with a point, same as bottom side Guinea-Bissau.
Meanwhile, Egypt have qualified for the knockout stages of AFCON after a comfortable victory over Sudan.
The Pharaohs took the lead through Mohamed Abdelmonem after he flicked a corner into the net to give his side the lead they deserved.
Mo Salah and Co go through in second place in the group behind Nigeria.
Nigeria: Francis Uzoho, Tyronne Ebuehi (Olisa Ndah 876, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Jamilu Collins, Kelechi Nwakali (Frank Onyeka 76), Wilfred Ndidi, Chidera Ejuke (Moses Simon 57), Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Umar Sadiq (Peter Olayinka 57)