Nigeria's Super Eagles kicked started their AFCON 2021 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Egypt, another African football powerhouse.
The matchup, which opened off Group D play, was expected to be a competitive match, but Nigeria controlled from start to end.
The Super Eagles attempted 15 total goals, five of which were on target, but they also allowed their opponents to only four shots.
Egypt's best player Mohamed Salah took two of those four shots, just one of which was on goal, and he remained almost anonymous for the rest of the game.
In the first half, Mohamed Salah had only 14 touches, all outside the Nigerian box, and no shooting attempts.
Salah moved to a more central role in an attempt to find more space to operate, attracting the attention of the centre-backs, Troost-Ekong and Omeruo.
They kept the pressure on Salah, making him appear anything but a player who has already scored 23 goals and added nine assists for Liverpool in just 26 games across all competitions this season.
Nigeria did not make any special efforts to counter Salah's threat, nor did they pay him any special attention. It was simply a matter of defending in a compact manner.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.