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Tunisia End Nigeria's AFCON Journey

Nigeria have been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the round of 16 after going down 1-0 to Tunisia on Sunday night.

Africa Cup of Nations

Result: Nigeria 0-1 Tunisia

Date: 23 January 2022

Venue: Stade Omnisport Roumdé Adjia

Nigeria interim coach Augustine Eguavoen reverted to the same team that defeated Egypt and Sudan in the first two matches in the group stage resting several first-team regulars from the dead-rubber clash with Guinea-Bissau.

Meanwhile, Tunisia were forced to field a weakened team after 12 players including captain Wahbi Khazri as well as head coach Mondher Kebaier tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

The Super Eagles immediately went on the attack as a corner was lofted into the box and Wilfred Ndidi tried an audacious overhead kick which went off target.

Tunisia came close to taking the lead against the run of play in the ninth minute when a cross found its way to centre-back Montassar Talbi at the far post and his placed effort was cleared off the line.

Tunisia took the lead just two minutes after half-time. Super Eagles right-back Ola Aina slipped and lost possession to Youssef Msakni, who cut inside from the left and hit a fierce low shot from a central position 25 yards out that swerved wickedly and goalkeeper Maduka Okoye could only get a hand to the ball on its way into the back of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for the Super Eagles when Alex Iwobi, just having come on as a substitute, was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Msakni.

Soon after going a man down, Nigeria came close to equalising. Peter Oladeji Olayinka delivered to the back post and Moses Simon took a brilliant first touch to create a yard of space in the box but his close-range effort on the angle was well smothered by Tunisia shot-stopper Bechir Ben Said.

Super Eagles left-back Zaidu Sanusi then dragged his shot wide of the left-hand post just inside the box as Eguavoen's men began to put some pressure on their opponents.

Another chance went begging for the Nigerians with ten minutes to go. Ellyes Skhiri brought Umar Sadiq down on the edge of the box. Simon stepped up and curled the free-kick over the wall and just over the bar.

The last attempt in vain from the Super Eagles was Sadiq's after the substitute was cleverly played through on goal down the inside-right channel by Olayinka and he slid the ball past the onrushing Ben Said but it trickled agonisingly wide of the left-hand post as the 2013 champions crashed out of the competition.

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