There were fine performances all over the park for the Eagles as the three-time Afcon kings earned a memorable win over the most successful team in the competition
English Premier League club Watford and Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam have sent congratulatory messages to Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye following his impressive performance in Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over Egypt on Tuesday.
Okoye kept a clean sheet as the Super Eagles secured a dominant win over their illustrious foes in their opening Group D match of the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Nigerian attack, led by Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, and Taiwo Awoniyi, was impressive as they ran the Pharaohs ragged.
But just as impressive was the Nigerian defence, marshalled by the duo of Watford’s William Troost-Ekong and Leganes’ Kenneth Omeruo.
They ran, tackled, blocked, intercepted, and cleared the dangers posed by the Egyptians for ninety minutes, so much that Liverpool’s talismanic forward Mohamed Salah had his poorest game in recent times.
And on the rare occasion when Salah broke through, Okoye was on hand to block the attacker’s attempt with his leg and made the save, helping his team preserve the lead given by Iheanacho’s first-half volley.
And Okoye, who signed for Watford in November but will stay at Sparta Rotterdam until the end of the season, has received heartfelt greetings from both clubs for that fine showing.
Watford FC wrote on Twitter: “Well done, boys! A clean sheet for Troost-Ekong and @OkoyeMaduka in Nigeria’s victorious #AFCON2021 opener against Egypt!”
On the same social media site, Sparta wrote: “Congratulations @OkoyeMaduka and #TeamNigeria with the 1-0 victory in the @CAF_Online. Our home is in your colours! #NGAEGY.”
Okoye is at his first major tournament for the Super Eagles, having made his debut in 2019 after the Afcon tournament hosted by Egypt.
The 22-year-old and his international teammates will target another victory against Sudan on Saturday, knowing that another three points will guarantee passage to the competition’s knockout rounds.
Nigeria currently top Group D with three points after Sudan and Guinea-Bissau played out a goalless draw also on Tuesday.