iexclusivenews – Ademola Lookman scored twice as Nigeria beat Cameroon 2-0 in a thrilling encounter to book their place in the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Nigeria Dominates from the Start
The Super Eagles, coached by Jose Peseiro, started the match with a 3-4-3 formation, bringing back Alex Iwobi, Zaidu Sanusi, and Lookman to the starting line-up.
They were the more aggressive and creative side, putting the Indomitable Lions under constant pressure and denying them any space to operate.
Nigeria thought they had taken the lead in the ninth minute when Semi Ajayi headed in a corner, but the goal was ruled out for a narrow offside.
The Eagles did not let that setback affect them and continued to attack with pace and purpose.
Their efforts paid off in the 36th minute when Victor Osimhen robbed Oumar Gonzalez of the ball and set up Lookman, who slotted the ball past Fabrice Ondoa.
The Cameroon goalkeeper, who replaced the injured Andre Onana, could not keep out Lookman’s low shot, which slipped under his body.
Cameroon Fails to Respond
The second half saw Cameroon enjoy more possession, but they failed to create any clear chances or test Nigeria’s goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali.
The Chippa United shot-stopper, who had a quiet game, was forced off with an injury in the 80th minute and was replaced by Francis Uzoho.
Cameroon’s coach Rigobert Song brought on veteran striker Vincent Aboubakar in a desperate attempt to salvage the game, but it was too little, too late.
Nigeria sealed the win in the 90th minute when Lookman completed his brace with a fine finish after a slick exchange with Calvin Bassey on the left wing.
The Indomitable Lions had 57 per cent of the ball, but they did not register a single shot on target.
Nigeria, on the other hand, had 10 shots, five of which were on target.
Nigeria Prepares for Angola
The Super Eagles will now face Angola in the first quarter-final of AFCON 2023 on Friday, 2 February, at Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan.
Nigeria will be hoping to continue their impressive form and reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2019.