Ademola Lookman’s brace helped Nigeria through to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-final as the Super Eagles remain unbeaten against Cameroon in five successive competitive matches following a 2-0 victory.
Nigeria thought they’d made the perfect start when Semi Ajayi poked into the net from close range after nine minutes for his second-ever international goal.
However, a lengthy VAR review concluded that the defender strayed into an offside position and Nigeria were denied just a second AFCON finals goal from open play.
The early let-off saw Cameroon tighten up for a sustained period and a first-half stalemate appeared increasingly likely as the clash edged towards HT.
But the Indomitable Lions were dealt a deadly bowl after Oumar Gonzalez’s mis-timed touch allowed Victor Osimhen to seize on the loose ball, race forward and feed through Ademola Lookman, whose shot was fumbled into the net by Fabrice Ondoa.
The Super Eagles started the second period on the front foot and Lookman went close to doubling his tally with a whipped free-kick from 20 yards.
In response, Cameroon generally offered little and the side that came back to avoid defeat in three of their last five matches showed few signs of levelling the scores, with Nouhou Tolo’s high and wide attempt from distance showcasing the desperation for Rigobert Song’s side.
Nigeria continued to carve out the major chances and Lookman finally got his second goal of the night in injury time as he raced onto Calvin Bassey’s low cross and powerfully volleyed into the net.
After going unbeaten in four and keeping three clean sheets so far in the AFCON finals, José Peseiro’s Nigeria are building momentum nicely and the Super Eagles will face Angola in the quarter-finals.
Cameroon were second best throughout and the Indomitable Lions crashed out of the AFCON round of 16 stage for the second time in their last three finals appearances.