AFCON 2021: Iheanacho voted man of the match as Nigeria beat Egypt
Lecester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has been voted the best man on the pitch in Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat of Egypt in their opening group D game of the ongoing 33rd Africa Cup of Nations.
Iheanacho, who made his debut in the competition opened the scoring in the 30th minute, burying a stunning half-volley on the turn.
Nigeria dominated throughout, with Egypt keeper Mohamed El Shenawy tipping a Taiwo Awoniyi header on to the bar and twice denying Chidera Ejuke.
The Pharaohs offered little in response after falling behind in Garoua.
Iheanacho’s performance up front will be a welcome relief to Super Eagles supporters, with fellow Nigeria strikers Victor Osimhen, Emmanuel Dennis and Odion Ighalo all forced out of the squad for Cameroon.
The Foxes man impressed throughout the first half, feeding in Awoniyi who saw a tame effort saved shortly before the break.
Nigeria, three-time African champions, continued to push for a second after half-time with El Shenawy twice keeping out substitute Chidera Ejuke in the closing stages.
Ultimately though one goal was enough for the West Africans, lead by interim manager Augustin Eguavoen with new boss Jose Peseiro only observing from the stands.
The Super Eagles had sacked long-serving boss Gernot Rohr just four weeks before the tournament following an underwhelming World Cup qualification campaign.