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Africa: Africa Cup of Nations
3 - 1
(2 - 0)
S. Chukwueze (3), T. Awoniyi (45), M. Simon (46)

Awoniyi scores as Nigerian Super Eagles soar over Sudan

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Nigeria followed up their 1-0 upset win with a 3-1 demolition of Sudan on Day Eight of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi got his name on the scoresheet during a superb performance. 
Taiwo Awoniyi.
Taiwo Awoniyi.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are through to the 2021 AFCON round-of-16 following a 3-1 demolition of Sudan at the Stade Roumdé Adjia in Garoua on Saturday. Two victories from two fixtures places the West African powerhouse atop Group D on six points. Union Berlin fans will surely be interested to know that striker Taiwo Awoniyi turned in an absolute gem of a performance.

Nigerian interim trainer Augustine Eguavoen trotted out the exact same XI in the exact same 4-4-2 formation from Tuesday's big upset win over Egypt. Within three minutes after kickoff, this confident constellation secured a 1-0 lead. Awoniyi actually whiffed on a chance following a deft long throw-in. Former FC Nantes winger Moses Simon nevertheless kept after the loose ball with alacritous speed. The former KAA Gent prodigy then set up his opposite winger Samuel Chukwueze, who finished with a well drilled low drive.

There continued to be lovely interplay and top-notch combos from the Super Eagles over the course of the first half. Sudan were very lucky to hold the scoreline and actually got away with a few flagrant tactical fouls. Awoniyi got his first effort on target in the 25th. Spurned on by some fantastic musical accompaniments from the fans in the stands, Nigeria kept up the dominance. Awoniyi had another fine effort barely cleared off the line in the 37th.

The 1. FC Union forward finally got his goal four minutes from the stroke of half-time. Rather ironically, Awoniyi got his name on the scoresheet with one he likely didn't know too much about. William-Trost Ekong flicked on Chukwueze free-kick that glanced of Awoniyi's head incidentally. After producing so much quality during the opening 45, the former Liverpool man found himself the recipient of a lucky one.

Nigeria entered the dressing room up 2-0. The scoreline honestly should have been at least double that. Several sitters were missed by the Super Eagles in the first half. Moses Simon put the scoreline more in line with the xG seconds after the restart. Awoniyi then was denied the 4-0 and a brace in the 52nd. Sudan were able to pull a goal back after a penalty was awarded later. Both sides were still practically strolling towards the finish.

The Bundesligist finished with an incredible six efforts on goal for the day. Eguavoen will surely call upon the 24-year-old again regularly during what looks to be a deep tournament run and title push for the 2013 continental champions. Nigeria conclude group stage play against Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday.

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