Defending Africa champs Egypt trounce NigeriaBENGUELA, Angola - Defending champions Egypt defeated Nigeria 3-1 in their opening Africa Cup of Nations Group C match at the Ombaka Stadium here on Tuesday. Egypt’s coach, Hassan Shehata, said some inspired second-half substitutions helped his team to a deserved victory.
“The substitutions paid dividends,” said the former Zamalek striker. “The victory over Nigeria is just the beginning. We still have a long way to go and so we still need our fans’ genuine support and prayers.”
Nigerian coach Shuaibu Amod, said his team paid the price for some schoolboy errors. “We played well and controlled the game especially in the first half, but somehow we made some silly mistakes and we were punished,” said a miserable Amodu.
Skipper Joseph Yobo said had they sustained their first half performance, they would have recorded maximum points. “We started well and got a goal but they came at us and equalized. They also scored early in the second half to unsettle us. Had we come out in the second half as we did in the first half, we would have won this very difficult game.”
The six-time champions brought to an end a 33-year-old winless run they have endured against the West Africans and gave them a head start to progress to the knockout stage.
Nigeria took the lead after 12 minutes when Chinedu Obasi powered home a left-footed rocket of a shot from outside the box beyond a diving goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary. Emad Motaeb drew Egypt level in the 34th minute when he got to the end of a quick counter attack initiated by Wael Gomaa and skipper Ahmed Hassan to round goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and slot the ball into an empty net.
Skipper Hassan gave the champions the lead in the 54th minute when he thundered home a blinder past Enyeama from outside the 18-yard box. Substitute Mohamed Nagi completed the demolition in the 87th minute when he drove home a pile driver for the third goal to the delight of the noisy, 32,000-strong crowd. AFP