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15 Amazing facts ahead of Nigeria – Egypt Africa Cup of Nations clash



Sayed Moawad of Egypt and Chinedu Obasi of Nigeria


Both Nigeria and Egypt meet in Garoua, Cameroon  on Tuesday as attention shifts to Group D in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. It is a potentially an epic confrontation of two of the teams with the best records in the Africa Cup of Nations history. This match is coming a day to the 11th anniversary of their encounter of 12 January 2010 when they met at the Angola 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

As usual, takes an insightful look at the match and comes out with the following points of interest.

  • When Paul Onuachu scored within eight seconds against Egypt in a friendly match played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on 26 march 2019, it entered the  record books as the second fastest goal in international football.
  • This Tuesday’s match will be Nigeria’s 94th Africa Cup of Nations match since the 1963 debut in Kumasi, Ghana.
  • This match will be Egypt’s 101st match in the Africa Cup of Nations’ history. 
  • Egypt, playing under the flag of United Arab Republic, a short-lived union of Egypt and Syria, is the first country that inflicted a home defeat on Nigeria when the team  beat Nigeria’s ‘Red Devils’ 6-2 in Lagos in a Rome 1960 Olympic qualifying tournament played on 13 December 1959.
The Egyptian team that beat Nigeria 6-2 in Lagos in 1959
  • Egypt was the team that made Nigeria to switch from red shirts to the now familiar green. It was at the occasion of the return leg match of the Rome Olympic Games’ qualifying tournament played in Cairo on January 1, 1960. The Nigerian team had to change to green since the home country played in red. It was a step towards becoming ‘Green Eagles’ in the months that followed. Nigeria lost the match 0-3.
  • Nigeria’s first own goal was scored in the match with Egypt (UAR) on 13 December 1959 when John Onyeador turned the ball into his team’s net after two minutes of kick-off in an eventual 2-6 home loss.
  • It was against Egypt that Asuquo Ekpe scored Nigeria’s first Africa Cup of Nations’ goal in a 6-3 loss on November 24, 1963 in Kumasi, Ghana.
  • It was in Egypt that Obinna Nsofor scored Nigeria’s 100th Africa Cup of Nations goal when he found the net in a 1-1 draw with Tunisia on 4 February 2006 in Port Said.
  • Until Ghana beat Egypt in the qualifying series for Brazil 2014, Nigeria’s 4-0 defeat of Egypt on 8 October 1977, was the country’s heaviest defeat in a World Cup qualifying match.
  • Until Egypt beat Nigeria 3-1 in Benguela, Angola, Nigeria successively had the upper hand in all Africa Cup of Nations’ matches involving both countries from 1976 to 2010.
  • Former Nigerian skipper, Stephen Keshi scored the first of his 10 goals for Nigeria when he converted a penalty kick against Egypt in a friendly match on 20 February 1983 in Kaduna to bring scoreline to 1-1.
  • The doyen of football coaches in Nigeria, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde made his national team debut as Nigeria’s coach in a 18 February 1983 friendly match with Egypt in Lagos. The match ended goalless.
  • Egypt with seven victories won most titles of the Africa Cup of Nations.
  • Nigeria with seven third placed positions has the record of most bronze medals.
  • Nigeria and Egypt are the only countries to have personalities who won the African titles as players and coaches. Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary won the African Cup as player in 1959 and then as a coach in 1998. Nigeria’s Stephen Keshi won the cup as a player in 1994 and then as a coach in 2013.
  • In head-to-head confrontations, Egypt has a slight edge over Nigeria having won eight of 21 encounters while Nigeria won six

P          W         D          L          F          A

Egypt              21        8            7          6          36        29

Nigeria            21        6           7           8          29        36

·  13 Dec. 1959  (Oq, Lagos) Nigeria 2-6 Egypt


·  1 Jan. 1960 (Oq, Cairo)   Egypt 3-0 Nigeria

·  29 Nov. 1960 (F. Lagos) Nigeria 1-2 Egypt

·  24 Nov. 1963 (Afcon, Kumasi) Egypt 6-3 Nigeria

·  14 Jan 1973 (AAG, Lagos) Nigeria 4-2 Egypt

·  14 Mar 1976 (Afcon Dire Dawa) Egypt 2-3 Nigeria


·  8 Oct. 1977 (WCq, Lagos) Nigeria 4-0 Egypt

·  21 Oct. 1977 (WCq, Cairo) Egypt 3-1 Nigeria

·  15 Mar. 1980 (Afcon, Lagos) Nigeria 1-0 Egypt

·  18 Feb. 1983 (F. Lagos) Nigeria 0-0 Egypt

·  20 Feb. 1983 (F. Kaduna) Nigeria 1-1 Egypt


·  14 Mar. 1984 (Afcon, Bouake) Egypt 2-2 Nigeria (7-8 pso)

·  20 Mar. 1988 (Afcon, Rabat) Egypt 0-0 Nigeria

·  5. Mar. 1990 (Afcon, Algiers) Egypt 0-1 Nigeria

·  30 Mar. 1994 (Afcon, Tunis) Egypt 0-0 Nigeria

·  25 Nov 2002 (F. Lagos) Nigeria 1-1 Egypt


·  12 Jan 2010 (Afcon. Benguela) Egypt 3-1 Nigeria

·  12 Apr 2012 (F-Dubai) Egypt 3-2 Nigeria

·  25 Mar 2016 (Afconq, Kaduna) Nigeria 1-1 Egypt

·  29 Mar, 2016 (Afconq, Alexandria) Egypt 1-0 Nigeria

  • 26 Mar. 2019 (F, Asaba) Nigeria 1-0 Egypt

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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