Nigeria made it two wins from two in the Africa Cup of Nations yesterday. They kicked off their tournament with a 1-0 win over Egypt on Tuesday. Their second win was a 3-1 success against Sudan. Brentford midfield player Frank Onyeka was part of the squad for the match but was an unused substitute. It was the second game in a row he has remained on the substitute’s bench.
Samuel Chukwueze opened the scoring for Nigeria inside the first three minutes. They then scored just before and just after half time with Taiwo Awoniyi and Moses Simon finding the net. Sudan pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining, but Nigeria took the win. It takes them to six points and guaranteed progress to the last 16.
The tournament is now entering its second week and will run until the start of February. Nigeria have already been confirmed as Group D winners with one game to go. They face Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday, 19 January, in their final game in the group.
The 24 sides will be reduced to 16 to compete in the knock-out stages. The Second Round begins next Sunday, 23 January, and the Africa Cup of Nations Final will be held on Sunday 6 February. Frank will return to Brentford when Nigeria are eliminated.
The midfield player has been a regular for The Bees in the Premier League this season. He was involved in 17 of Brentford’s 19 Premier League games before leaving for the tournament, starting 11 of them. He was an unused substitute in one other match. Frank has made 21 appearances in all competitions since joining from FC Midtjylland in the summer and contributed two assists.
Frank made his international debut for Nigeria last year and now has four caps for his country. Three of them have come since he joined The Bees. When he played for Nigeria in October, Frank became the 50th Brentford player to have won a full international cap while on our books.
He could join another elite group of players in the coming days. Only two others – Kamohelo Mokotjo, of South Africa, and Julian Jeanvier for Guinea – have played in the Africa Cup of Nations. Both did so in 2019. Frank may also join a list that also includes Mathias Jensen, Christian Nørgaard, Henrik Dalsgaard, Marcus Forss and Halil Dervişoğlu, to have appeared in an international tournament.