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Egypt cruise into last eight
Pharaohs maintain perfect record in Africa Cup of Nations as Odemwingie inspires Nigeria.
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2010 10:09 GMT

Egypt celebrate their second goal as they cruise into the knockout round [AFP]

World Cup qualifier Nigeria overpowered Mozambique 3-0 to join defending champions Egypt in the knockout phase of the Africa Cup of Nations from Group C.

Six-times champions Egypt saw off Benin 2-0 in Benguela to top the standings with a perfect record and nine points.

Nigeria have six while Mozambique and Benin were eliminated with one point each.

The Pharaohs will play their quarter-final against the second-placed team in Group D in Benguela while Nigeria will be in Lubango to face the top side from that group.

Cameroon, Zambia, Tunisia and Gabon will battle it out for the two spots on Thursday.

Easy ride

Egypt, who stretched their unbeaten run at the Africa Cup of Nations to 16 matches, were barely bothered by a toothless Benin side in Benguela.

Defender Ahmed Al Muhammadi unleashed a long-range cross that caught Yoann Djidonou off guard in the seventh minute to put the Pharaohs in front.

Ahmed Raouf's header was parried away by Djidonou, only for Emad Motaeb, to latch on to the ball and make it 2-0 after 23 minutes.

Benin posed little threat in attack and only had one clear chance after the hour that was denied by a fine Essam El Hadari save.

Nigeria, who needed only a draw to advance, waited longer before overcoming Mozambique.

Facing the prospect of failing to reach the last eight for the first time since 1982, Nigeria wasted plenty of chances in the opening minutes.

Odemwingie fires home for Nigeria [AFP]
Peter Odemwingie, though, found the back of the net before and after the interval to dash Mozambique's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time.

"Nigeria is a team full of quality,'' Mozambique's Dutch coach Mart Nooij said.

"They were the better team. They played with a lot of confidence.''

The striker collected the ball outside the box and netted with a left-foot shot which found its way between Kampango and his near post.

Two minutes after resumption, Odemwingie struck again, turning in an easy chance after Yakubu Aiyegbeni broke down the left.

Obafemi Martins put the result beyond doubt four minutes from time when he hammered home a rebound.

"The team played according to instruction,'' Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu said.

"We are satisfied with the win but we haven't won the tournament yet.''

Gabon lead Group D with four points, one ahead of Cameroon. But both third-placed Tunisia and fourth-placed Zambia can still qualify.

Amodu said he was prepared to face any of the qualifying teams.

Source:
Agencies
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