Despite a cagey opening minute, Nigeria created a chance of their own. Rabiu Ali sent his shot off target after good work from Austine Oladapo and Dayo Ojo.
A rampaging Mohamed Hisham stole in behind Stephen Eze to latch on to Saifeldin Malik’s intelligent pass but Eagles skipper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was brave enough to pull off the save and hurt his ankle in the process.
Plateau United goalie Dele Ajiboye came off the bench to replace the injured Ezenwa for his CHAN debut.
The Eagles drew the curtain raiser thanks to an excellent finish by Gabriel Okechukwu in the 16th minute. Austine Okpotu flicked the ball to the Akwa United striker’s path and he showed gratitude with a low finish beyond Akram Elhadi.
Nigeria kept pressing the opposition on the high line and soon attacked again. Oladapo delivered a tailor-made pass to Okechukwu whose low grounder beat the keeper and narrowly went wide.
Ajiboye was called to action on the half hour as he showed awareness to pull off a save from Mohamed Bashir’s ambitious long-range effort.
In a bid to at least level matters before recess, the Falcons launched a counter-attack which caught the Eagles unawares. A quality cross from the right flank by Maaz Abdelrahim was wasted by Saifeldin from close range.
The Sudanese team were unlucky not to equalise in the 40th minute. A well-crafted team move eventually saw the land at the feet of Bashir. The forward fired tamely to the waiting arms of Ajiboye.
Bashir will again be the culprit on two occasions in the space of thirty seconds as Ajiboye repaid the faith shown in him by coach Yusuf Salisu.
The former youth international showed composure to make a save after Bashir poked the ball before diving at full stretch following a powerful header from the forward.
The action-packed first half ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria.
The Super Eagles attacked at a fast pace at resumption with the wonderful combination of Ali and Ojo at the middle of the park a delight to watch.
Ojo turned provider for Okechukwu who shot straight at Akram. The Akwa United striker then carved out space for himself and released a bullet which couldn’t trouble the Sudanese goalkeeper.
Ajiboye continued to be crucial for Nigeria when he foiled Maaz. The winger was through on goal and had Ajiboye at his mercy but his effort was well stopped by the 2007 FIFA U17 World Cup winner.
The Super Eagles soon went down to 10 men when Ifeanyi Ifeanyi earned his second booking for a clumsy tackle.
With the numerical advantage, Sudan threw more men forward and this made Nigeria become more cautious.
In one of his forays upfront, Latif Saeed saw his volley acrobatically kept out by Ajiboye. Osas Okoro made a goal-line clearance from the resultant corner kick.
Sudan was also down to 10 men in the 88th minute. Goal-bound Ojo was illegally tackled by Bakri Bachir and the referee had to reach out to his pocket and sent him off.
The impressive Ajiboye pulled off two point-blank saves at injury time as Nigeria sealed their place in the final of the competition for the time.