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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Nigeria deserved to defeat Sudan & Aina was unlucky – Troost-Ekong

4:44 PM MYT 16/01/2022
Super Eagles, Nigeria
The defender gave his assessment of the Super Eagles' match against Burhan Tia's Falcons of Jediane on Saturday

William Troost-Ekong lauded Nigeria’s triumph over Sudan, claiming the Super Eagles deserve to win their Africa Cup of Nations match notwithstanding a "slow first half".

Goals from Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon and Taiwo Awoniyi inspired Augustine Eguavoen’s men to a 3-1 victory at Garoua’s Roumde Adjia Stadium on Saturday.

Following that result, the three-time African champions are now through to the competition’s Round of 16, although they still have to face Guinea Bissau in their last Group D fixture.

Answering questions from the media after Saturday’s game, the Watford man lauded the performance of his teammates against Burhan Tia’s side, but admitted the Eagles did not perform as well as they did against Egypt.

“[On Saturday], it was a different challenge again. The first game everyone saw that we could play,” Troost-Eking told GOAL when asked about the match.

“First half against Sudan I thought we were a bit slow but in the second half, we came out well. It's still a good sign to see that even if we don't perform as good as the first game in some aspects, we still managed to score some goals.

“We still deserve to win the game; the team is through to the next round and we want to win the last match too.”

With Eguavoen’s men looking destined to keep another clean sheet, Walieldin Khedr beat goalkeeper Maduka Okoye from the penalty spot after VAR adjudged Ola Aina fouled Mustafa Karshoum in the danger zone.

The 28-year-old weighed in on that decision while reserving some praise for man-of-the-match Moses Simon.

“It was unlucky. Ola [Aina] stepped on the foot of the player. Sometimes with VAR, you can't get some decisions," Troost-Eking added.

“Simon has worked very hard and he is taking his chance very well. I am very happy for him that he was named as man-of-the-match.

“We are focused on the tournament here. I am very happy with the team, we have some young players and everyone is filling in well.”

Although the 2013 African kings Nigeria are through to the next round, they will square up against Guinea Bissau – who need a win to stand a chance of qualifying on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Sudan take on Carlos Queiroz’s Egypt on the same day at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde – needing a comprehensive win to qualify for the knockout phase.