AFCON 2021: How we tamed Salah -Eguavoen

Super Eagles player, Kenneth Omeruo (left) against Mohamed Salah of Egypt.

Nigeria’s caretaker manager, Austin Eguaveon, has revealed the tactics Super Eagles used to prevent Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah from wreaking havoc during Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Egypt in group D of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Having made the three-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player and his remarkable exploits in the Premier League, all eyes were on the Egypt talisman but he was relatively quite until the 72nd minute when he got his first effort of the evening but was off balance, allowing Maduka Okoye to make a save with his feet.

The defensive game plan of Nigeria was to block passes to Salah and the job was executed to perfection by the defensive midfielders and defenders.

ALSO READ:  Eguavoen slams Ighalo, Dennis over AFCON miss

“Egypt we all know is a respected team, we respect them but we also have players that need to be respected.

“The strategy, one thing on our mind, try to cut Salah off the ball and try to play high pressure at any given time and we know we can mix it up by ball possession and going directly when necessary.

“We had three things in mind . First was to win the game and how do we win the game? The process is keeping the ball and try to cut Salah off the game,” Eguavoen said at a post-match conference.

The 1994 AFCON winner is not getting carried away with the win over the seven-time champions, stressing that no team in the AFCON should be seen as underdogs.

ALSO READ:  Eguavoen slams Ighalo, Dennis over AFCON miss

“We are going to approach every game like it’s a final so we are going to take it game after game and see where we get to because every team that has come to AFCON should be respected regardless of the name of the country.

“There are no minnows anymore in football so if you don’t plan well, you don’t put in efforts you can be shocked.

“I don’t know who is going to win but we’d try in our own ways to approach every game with all seriousness”.

Nigeria will be guaranteed qualification to the last 16 with a game to spare if they beat Sudan in their next group game on Saturday.