The duo’s strength, energy, and intelligence wreaked considerable damage on the Pharaohs on Tuesday, and a former international expects it to continue against the Falcons today
Former Schalke 04 striker Victor Agali has urged Super Eagles coach Augustine Eguavoen to continue with the pair of Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi in attack when Nigeria take on Sudan on Saturday.
Awoniyi and Iheanacho turned back the hands of the clock to resurrect their combo to significant effect when the Eagles faced Egypt on matchday one four days ago.
Both strikers, then teenagers, played crucial roles as the Golden Eaglets defeated all-comers to lift the 2013 U-17 World Cup.
Making their Afcon debuts for the Super Eagles on Tuesday, the duo was excellent as a brilliant Iheanacho strike earned Nigeria an impressive 1-0 victory over the more-fancied Pharaohs.
The three-time continental champions next trade tackles with Sudan at the Roumde Adjia Stadium today, seeking a second consecutive win and a knockout round ticket.
Agali, a 2003 UEFA Intertoto Cup winner with Schalke 04, likes what he saw against Egypt when coach Eguavoen deployed Iheanacho in the hole just behind the central striker Awoniyi.
And the 2004 Afcon bronze medalist has prayed the Eagles coach to continue with that strike partnership against the Falcons of Jediane.
“Iheanacho is not someone you want to play as a point man,” Agali told Brila FM.
“So, it’s better to have him support someone and Awoniyi coming with his form from the Bundesliga, and after missing Osimhen, it’s better to leave Awoniyi and have Iheanacho roam around him, and that has happened.
“Iheanacho is someone that can drop in the midfield, and looking at the formation against Egypt, we played a classical 4-4-2 where we had Aribo and Ndidi in the middle, Iheanacho was like a pyramid in front and supported the guys behind.
“So it worked for us because we were very aggressive, and we controlled the game, so I expect the coach to maintain that.”
In the absence of Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Genk’s Paul Onuachu, and Al Shabab’s Odion Ighalo, Eguavoen took Iheanacho, Awoniyi, and Almeria’s Umar Sadiq to Cameroon as the Super Eagles’ main strikers.
But the stand-in coach can also call on wingers Ahmed Musa, Peter Olayinka, and Henry Onyekuru to fill in as a striker if needed.