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

At this point in time you have zero chance of taking the ball off Moses Simon.

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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