Nigeria beat Senegal 2-1 in their final Group D match of the 25th Africa Cup of Nations played in Port Said, Egypt, on Tuesday. Both teams, however, advanced to the quarterfinals after placing first and second in the group.
Senegal’s Soulemayne Camara scored first in the 59th minute. The Nigerians responded in the 79th and 87th minutes through Obafemi Martins, Africa’s third most prolific scorer during the joint 2006 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
The victory gave the Nigerians the leadership of the group with the maximum nine points, followed by Senegal, Zimbabwe and Ghana who had four points each.
But the Lions of Teranga advanced due to a better goal difference over Ghana and Zimbabwe, who upset the Black Stars 2-1 in the other Group D match played in Ismailia Stadium.
Ghana’s defeat forced the Black Stars and fellow World Cup
qualifiers like Angola and Togo to leave in the first round of the continental tournament.
Among Africa’s five World Cup representatives, only Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire made it to the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, with the end of the Group D matches, the quarterfinal battles are all set, with host Egypt playing against RD Congo in Cairo, and Guinea facing fellow West Africans Senegal in Alexandria on Friday.
On Saturday, Nigeria will face Tunisia in Port Said, while
Cameroon tackles Cote d’Ivoire at Cairo Military Stadium.