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Watching Nigeria's Moses Simon At AFCON Has Been An Honor And A Privilege

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are now favorites at the Africa Cup of Nations after defeating Guinea-Bissau 2-0 on Wednesday to become the only team to make it through the group stage in Cameroon with a perfect record. 

The form of Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has sent a message across Africa — he scored the match-winner against Egypt and provided a beautiful assist on Wednesday's opening goal — but the player to watch has been Nantes winger Moses Simon.

The 26-year-old was enjoying a fine Ligue 1 campaign with six assists and two goals in 18 appearances prior to AFCON, but his Transfermarkt value of just $9.9 million speaks to how underrated he is — hell, I know my own opinion isn't of much value, but I'd be lying if I told you I knew he was this good before AFCON.

In Nigeria's opener against Egypt, he was the Super Eagles' main attacking outlet (50 touches) and completed a match-leading four dribbles. Next up was Sudan, and Simon delivered a man of the match performance with an assist on Samuel Chukwueze's opener, a great goal of his own and a game-high four dribbles.  

If the match against Sudan demonstrated how effective he can be, Wednesday's game against Guinea-Bissau was a showcase of Simon the entertainer — you could say his 33 minutes on the pitch were Allan Saint-Maximin-esque, but it would only serve as a compliment to Saint-Maximin. 

Simon came on as a substitute in the 57th minute and completed seven — SEVEN — dribbles in 33 minutes. I don't have any of the tools to determine if that's been done before, but I highly doubt it.

His best dangle led directly to Nigeria's second — a bodying of one defender, a fake shot and chop to twist a second, a step-over to snatch the soul of a third and a left-footed crack off the crossbar that presented William Troost-Ekong with a tap-in.

Every touch was liquid gold. 

Winning Group D pits Nigeria against the third-place finisher from Group E/F in the Round of 16. That match will take place on Sunday, and I'd highly recommend tuning in just to see what Moses Simon does next. 

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