The Leicester striker scored the game-winning goal in the first half, shooting his half volley high into the net after exquisitely pivoting over the edge of the box.
Given his form in the English Premier League this season, many expected Mohamed Salah to produce something special in his side’s first group game.
But Nigeria managed to keep the Egyptian captain silent for most of the game, with the 29-year-old creating just one opportunity to score.
The Liverpool star might have done better with his luck after being played behind defense with 20 minutes left, but he saw his weak effort saved by goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.
Egypt appeared second behind Nigeria for much of the game, with the Super Eagles looking much more energetic and creative going forward.
Wilfred Ndidi was particularly impressive for Nigeria, impressively mobilizing the midfielder and crushing potential attacks from Egypt.
The future winners could have made their lives more comfortable but missed a series of opportunities to extend their lead.
Egypt, who have won the tournament seven times, will look to bounce back against Guinea-Bissau in their next match while Nigeria face Sudan.