Nigerian wonderkid and Arsenal starlet makes competitive debut but Chelsea loanee has last laugh

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Alex Iwobi made his competitive debut for Nigeria against Egypt on Saturday, but his big day was marred when Chelsea loanee Mohamed Salah bagged a late equaliser for the visitors.

Having already appeared for the Super Eagles in friendly matches, Iwobi’s late cameo in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier means that the forward is now tied down to a future with the West African giants, ending speculation that he might yet jump ship and play for England, whom he represented at youth level.

Etebo Oghenekaro—playing alongside new captain John Obi Mikel in the heart of the park—opened the scoring for Nigeria, managed by interim coach Samson Siasia, in the 60th minute.

However, there was a late sting in the tail for Nigeria—who dropped points against Tanzania earlier in the campaign to leave their participation at the continental showpiece early next year in doubt—as Salah, currently on loan at AS Roma from Chelsea, struck in the 90th minute to rescue a point for the Pharaohs.

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The draw leaves Egypt top of African Cup of Nations qualification Group G, two points ahead of Nigeria and three clear of third-place Tanzania.

Chad remain bottom of the pool having lost all three of their matches to date.

“Unlucky not to win,” Iwobi wrote on his @alexiwobi Twitter handle, “but happy to have made my competitive debut for Nigeria.”

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