Nigeria 1-0 Guinea: 3 reasons why Nigeria won | African Cup of Nations 2019

Nigeria celebrates their solitary goal against Guinea.
Nigeria celebrates their solitary goal against Guinea.
Nnanna Mba

Nigeria, with three points gained from their 1-0 win against Burundi, entered this match intent on taking another three points home. They did just that, and notably, they have qualified to go into the knockout stages of the competition.

With another 1-0 win, Nigeria have successfully kept clean sheets for both games. Gernot Rohr would be looking to maintain that momentum in their third group game even though they have qualified.

The match started with Nigeria holding most of the possession until the 30th minute when the Elephants held on to the ball until the half time whistle. Chances were created on both sides of the pitch, most notably a just-over-the-bar freekick from Kamano and a searing shot from Iwobi. However, neither goalkeeper could be vanquished.

By the second half, Nigeria took over possession for lengthy spells and pressurized the Elephants consistently. Shots from Iwobi, pacy runs from Ahmed Musa, and strong aerial duels from Ndidi and Omeruo ensured that Guinea focused on defending. Nigeria got 10 corners in the game, a testament of just how much they troubled the Elephants. One of those set-pieces eventually yielded a goal as Omeruo headed the ball past Guinea's confident keeper Kone.

The Elephants kept possession of the ball, pushing to score after conceding that solitary goal, but the Super Eagles stood firm. By the final whistle, the Nigerians were jubiliating and celebrating their qualification into the round of 16.

The result has Guinea, who might miss Naby Keita in the final game, waiting to see what happens between Madagascar and Burundi. If Madagascar - who currently hold the second qualifying spot - beat Burundi, it would reduce Guinea's chances of getting into the knockout stages.

We take a look at three reasons why Nigeria beat the Elephants and secured a spot in the round of 16.

#3 Nigeria's defence stood solid

Nigeria kept yet another clean sheet.
Nigeria kept yet another clean sheet.

The Super Eagles had a defensive rock in Kenneth Omeruo. While other players played their part in ensuring victory for the team, Omeruo stood out in his defensive duties.

With four tackles, three interceptions, five clearances, and a goal to boot, Omeruo had a composed outing that ended with him receiving the Man of the Match award.

Alongside Omeruo, the midfield duo of Ndidi and Etebo made a total of five tackles and four interceptions together. Notably, Charles Awaziem who played as right-back also inputed with 5 tackles, the highest number by any player on the field

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Edited by Aaditya Narayan

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