Just like the encounter with Egypt and Sudan, Nigeria displayed a brilliant performance to outclass their West African counterparts 2-0 amid excitement and cheers from supporters.
The Eagles took on the Djurtus in their third Group D match at Stade Roumde Adjia in the port city of Garoua, the capital of Cameroon’s northern region.
They maintained a dominant form to end their group campaign, winning all nine points from three matches – the first team to record such feat in the ongoing tournament.
The three-time African champions went into the match with high spirits, taking charge of the first half of the game as fans cheer the players with drums and other musical instruments.
But this was not enough for Nigeria to get the ball past Guinea-Bissau’s goalkeeper until the referee blew the whistle, marking the end of the first half.
At the resumption of the match, Nigerian forward Umar Sadiq put the Eagles ahead of their Guinea-Bissau contenders thanks to assist from teammate Kelechi Iheanacho in the 56th minute.
Shortly after taking the lead, coach Augustine Eguavoen made his first change of the game and substituted Sadiq and Chidera Ejuke with Peter Olayinka and Moses Simon respectively.
Barely 20 minutes later, Simon dribbled his way into the 18-yard box of the Djurtus before aiming for another goal for the Nigerian side.
Although the ball hit the bar, captain William Troost-Ekong proved the ability to lead the team by coming to the Eagles’ rescue. But Nigeria were not sure if they had extended the lead until the Video Assistant Referee confirmed a second goal.
Again, Eguavoen substituted Tyronne Ebuehi for Olisa Ndah while Henry Onyekuru replaced Iheanacho with just 25 minutes left till the end of the match.
The three-time African champions went on to maintain the lead until the referee blew the final whistle.
As if he knew Nigeria would defeat Guinea-Bissau, President Muhammadu Buhari, shortly after the match ended, commended the Super Eagles for keeping hope alive by winning all their group matches and advancing to the second round of the tournament in grand style.
He, however, urged the team to maintain and even surpass the terrific form that made them leaders in the group stage, saying the people hopefully look forward to a total of seven emphatic wins in the competition.
“President Buhari trusts that the positive reputation of good sportsmanship the traveling fans, sportswriters, and the football team have demonstrated in Cameroon will continue to enliven the importance of sports, particularly football, as an enabler of development, peace, tolerance, friendship and cooperation,” said a statement by the President’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.
He wished the Super Eagles the very best, pledging that his administration would continue to support the efforts of international, regional, and national football organisations to use the sport as a tool to build a better and more peaceful world.