Debutant, Paul Onuachu scored the second fastest goal in the history of international football when he blasted the ball past Egypt’s goalkeeper, Mahmoud Gennesh, less than seven seconds after the kick off of the international friendly at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba. Onuachu’s goal is only second to Lukas Podolski’s strike after six seconds for Germany against Ecuador in 2013.
The win was Egypt’s Coach, Javier Aguirre’s first loss since he took over the reins of the Pharaohs.
Yesterday’s game was one of the matches lined up to prepare the Super Eagles for the forthcoming African Nations Cup, but the fans left the stadium disappointed with the dour game put up by the sides, who played without some of their biggest stars.
While Egypt left out Mohamed Salah, Ahmed Hegazi and Elmohamady, Nigeria’s stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa also did not feature in the game as he was said to have returned to Saudi Arabia for a club engagement.
After Onuachu’s wonder strike, Egypt tried to get back into the game, but they found the Super Eagles’ defence marshalled by the day’s skipper, William Troost-Ekong a hard nut to crack.
Nigeria had the chance to double their advantage in the 30th minute when Alex Iwobi latched on to the ball following Mahmoud Alaa’s defensive error, but the Arsenal forward’s strike was weak and easy for Gennesh to save.
Nigeria continued their dominance of the first half, but poor decision making in the final third prevented them from adding to the scoreline.
However, the Pharaohs came into the second half stronger and determined to get something out of the game, but they struggled to create good goal scoring opportunities.
Egypt’s clearest chance of getting the equaliser was thwarted in the 83rd minute by an inspired substitute goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who pushed Islam Gaber’s shot to the crossbar and got up to save Kouka’s follow up effort.
Speaking after the match, Super Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr said his team would now focus on building a team for the Nations Cup.
“The match was a great game and my players were hungry to win. The early goal gave the Eagles the confidence and getting this type of result against Egypt is good for the team.
“The new players have proved a point and have now set up competition in the squad ahead of the Nations Cup,” he said.
Also speaking on the game, William Troost-Ekong said, “We are happy with the victory. Although Egypt did not come with some of their top stars, they still gave us a good fight.”
Troost-Ekong refused to predict what Nigeria would do at the Nations Cup “because it is my first experience going to the competition. But I think with more games and team coordination, the Eagles will excel in Egypt.”
Egypt’s coach, Javier Aguirre praised his lads for giving their best under difficult conditions, saying the match has given him more insight on the flaws in his team.
“I am happy with my team’s performance because the Eagles are good. This is why I accepted to play against Nigeria despite other teams calling for my team.
“I decided to try out new players so that I can get more replacement for players like Mo Salah and the new players did their best.”