SUPER Eagles attacker Ademola Lookman’s brace edged out Cameroon on Saturday, January 27, out of the ongoing African Cup of Nations, AFCON, securing Nigeria the ticket to the quarter-final.
The victory reposed the dominance of the Super Eagles over Cameroon after winning the Indomitable Lions, 3-2 and 2-1 in the round of 16 (2019) and quarter-final (2004), respectively.
The high-tempo match was played at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny stadium.
Nine minutes after the kickoff, Semi Ajayi’s goal sparked wild jubilation, inspiring the hope of gunning for the needed result but the joy was short-lived after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) disallowed the goals.
Despite the disallowed goal, Nigeria displayed the craving to give the lead after they put more pressure on the defence of the opponent.
The quest to get the lead bore in the 36 minutes after Lookman tapped in the ball, which slipped through Fabrice Ondoa’s gloves after he benefitted a pass from Victor Oshimen, who struggled to gain possession off Oumar Gonzalez just outside the penalty area.
The first half saw the display of Nigeria’s confidence as they dominated possessions via the combination of coordinated passes from the attackers’ midfield.
The match ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria in the first half.
The resumption witnessed the relentlessness of the Super Eagles as Frank Onyenka surged to the edge of the penalty area but was bundled by the Cameroon defender Christopher Wooh.
Cameroon attackers attempted to restore parity, but they met the firm resistance of the Super Eagles defence.
Their pressure to score a goal called Super Eagles’ goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili to action, leading to injury after a collision in an aerial challenge from Cameroon forward Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.
He could not continue the match, stretched out and called for a replacement.
He was replaced by Francis Uzoho in the 80 minutes.
Also, Cameroon brought in Vincent Aboubakar, who replaced Oumar Gonzalez.
At the death of the regulation time, Lookman doubled the lead to ensure the existence of Nigeria and also to advance to the quarter-finals.
Nigeria will face Angola in the quarter-final on Friday, February 2, 2024.