Photo by DANIEL BELOUMOU OLOMO/AFP via Getty Images
AFCON: Egypt Loses Their First Group Stage Match in 17 Years to Nigerian
Nigerian Super Eagles star Kelechi Iheanacho scored the record breaking goal during Tuesday's match.
Nigerian's national soccer team, The Super Eagles, has made waves by being the first team to beat Egypt's 'Pharaohs' in an Africa Cup of Nations group stage match in 17 years. The game, which took place on Tuesday, saw Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho provide a strikingly beautiful first-half goal which went on to claim their 1-0 victory over the North African champions. The Nigerian soccer team now sits at the top of their Group D and has quickly become the fan-favorite to win.
Before today's victory, the Pharaohs were unbeaten in their last 16 group matches since 2004. The 33rd AFCON championship is being held in West African nation Cameroon and marks their 25th appearance - a record in the history of the tournament, including them being seven-time AFCON champions. Group D leaders Nigeria are making their 19th attempt at winning the tournament, and have reached the semi-finals in 14 of their last 16 appearances - three of those being wins.
Nigeria dominated the field undeniably, effortlessly making space for Iheanacho's top corner goal strike. Egypt seemed to struggle to gain their footing, as Nigerian keeper Maduka Okoye was left out of the fun for large periods. Truthfully, Nigeria could've topped the board off even more, if not for misreads and missteps that remind us that we're all human. Egypt's performance was disappointing, as popular captain Mohamed Salah (GQ's best soccer player in the world, apparently) was expected to command the field with this gang of unbeatable Pharaohs - only to have left us with a lukewarm performance from the group favorites. Liverpool's Salah spent most of the game locked down, which is purely a testament to how hungry Nigeria is for the African crown.
But! It's only day two of AFCON and if history has shown us anything - we are in for one long and entertaining ride.
Fans of the sport took to social media to either celebrate their team's victory or laugh through the pain of their team's loss.
Egyptian coach returning Salah to Liverpool #NGAEGYpic.twitter.com/G7rhYPGYA2— Oyindamola\ud83d\ude44 (@Oyindamola\ud83d\ude44) 1641924558
What Nigeria is doing to Egypt it's like Mo Salah ain't there pic.twitter.com/nx4H1gx3nZ— Saviour Alpha (@Saviour Alpha) 1641923533
Iheanacho scores for Nigeria against Egypt. Man is a sniper. Great control and finish. #AFCON2021— Vince\u2122 (@Vince\u2122) 1641918686
Kelechi Iheanacho may have got the goal, but this man has been Nigeria\u2019s best player on the park\u2026\n\nMoses Simon causing all sorts of problems for Egypt.pic.twitter.com/CsgOqsVSwh— Joe Crann (@Joe Crann) 1641919844
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