Iheanacho scores the winning goal as Nigeria defeat Egypt

Nigeria opened their Africa Cup of Nations Group D campaign with a 1-0 win over Egypt thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal.

In the 30th minute, the Leicester City striker buried a beautiful half-volley on the spin to open the score.

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy denied Chidera Ejuke twice and tipped a Taiwo Awoniyi header onto the bar during Nigeria’s dominance.

After falling behind at Garoua, the Pharaohs had little to say in response.

Nigerian fans will be relieved with Iheanacho’s performance up front after seeing Victor Osimhen, Emmanuel Dennis, and Odion Ighalo all omitted from the squad for the Cameroon trip due to injury.

Foxes midfielder Awoniyi had a chance to open the scoring late in the first half but his shot was saved.

El Shenawy twice denied replacement Chidera Ejuke in the dying minutes of the match as Nigeria, three-time African champions, pushed for a fourth title.

A single goal was all the West Africans needed to secure victory under interim manager Augustin Eguavoen, with new boss Jose Peseiro watching on from the stands as he did not participate.

After a disappointing World Cup qualification campaign, the Super Eagles fired long-time manager Gernot Rohr four weeks before the tournament.

Egypt’s Pharaohs were sluggish in the first half, with just one attempt on target in the first 70 minutes.

It was a frustrating night for Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who has confirmed his desire to remain at Anfield.

Nigeria goalkeeper Maduka Okoye saved Ahmed Sayed’s strike with 20 minutes to go, despite the forward’s mishit.