Soccer-Nigeria end Guinea-Bissau hopes with comfortable 2-0 win


(Reuters) -Striker Sadiq Umar scored his first goal for Nigeria as they eased to a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau in the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday to ensure a full haul of nine points in Group D and oust their opponents from the tournament.

Umar, who has been criticised for some glaring misses in previous games, netted when Kelechi Iheanacho’s excellent pass with the outside of his boot across the goal provided a tap-in for the tall forward at the back post.

Nigeria were in cruise control and scored a second as William Troost Ekong netted from close-range after Moses Simon had hit the crossbar following a mazy run into the box.

Nigeria had already won the pool before kickoff, but became the only team to enter the second round with three wins. Egypt finished second with six points, while Guinea-Bissau and Sudan ended with a point each.

The result ensured Cape Verde and Malawi advance as two of the four best third-placed teams in the group stages, with the latter reaching the knockout rounds for the first time.

Nigeria have been slick and stylish in the matches to date and while not quite at their best in this one, coach Augustine Eguavoen was able to make eight changes with the job already done in the pool.

Guinea-Bissau have now failed to score in their last seven Cup of Nations matches spanning three finals, the first time a side has gone so long without a goal. They are also waiting for their first ever win.

They rarely threatened Nigeria and the closest they came was a free kick that whistled just past the post with Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho struggling to make up the ground.

There was a long Video Assistant Referee check for a potential offside on Nigeria’s second goal after 75 minutes as Ekong reacted quickest to turn the ball home, but the decision eventually went his way in what looked a tight call.

(Reporting by Nick SaidEditing by Toby Davis)

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