Watford duo William Troost-Ekong and Maduka Okoye kept a clean sheet against Liverpool striker Mo Salah as Nigeria beat Egypt at the African Cup of Nations.

Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho struck in the first half to give the Super Eagles a deserved 1-0 win in the Group D opener in Garoua.

Egypt never really got out of first gear and failed to carve out many clear openings for Salah, who was put through during the closing stages – but the Pharaohs captain could not find a telling finish.

It is only the second clean sheet Troost-Ekong has kept this season and the first since August 24, when Watford beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in the Carabao Cup.

Prior to the tournament the defender backed his nation to do well in the tournament.

"I'm very confident in our team," he told the BBC.

"Everyone is willing to go the extra mile, which I think is amazing. We understand the challenges that are in front of us, but we all try to support each other.

"And when it's time to crack a joke, we know when to do that as well. There's a brotherhood in the team. Every day is exciting. It feels like one big family.

"It's not just about us; it's about the whole of Nigeria. We know there's 200 million people at home that will want us to give our heart and soul when we play. Whenever we play, everything stops in Nigeria for 90 minutes. And everybody watches the game.

"It's good pressure and we use that to motivate us. There's that moment when you're walking out and you understand the magnitude of being able to wear the shirt. That's something really special."

Troost-Ekong and Okoye will next be in action on Saturday afternoon when they face Sudan.

The day before that, their Hornets teammates Imran Louza and Adam Masina will be in action with Morocco, who will be up against Comoros.