2021 AFCON: Kelechi Iheanacho scores as Nigeria beat Egypt in Group D opener
Kelechi Iheanacho was on target as Nigeria comfortably beat seven-time champions Egypt in their Africa Cup of Nations Group D opener.
The Leicester City striker 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.