Nigeria 3-2 Cameroon: Super Eagles redeem image against Lions (Match Highlights)
The Africa Cup of Nations continue to record unbelievable results as unheralded teams find a chink in the armours of supposed powerhouses of African football.
Earlier on Saturday at the Alexandria stadium, the Super Eagles of Nigeria soared at full stretch to dump the defending champions, Cameroon out of the tournament with two quick second-half goals having trailed in similar fashion at the tail end of the first half.
Coach Gernot Rohr rang five changes to the team that was rudely shocked by Madagascar on Sunday with Daniel Akpeyi returning in goal and William Troost Ekong replacing Leon Balogun in the heart of defence; Wilfried Ndidi and Alex Iwobi returned in midfield and Moses Simon took his place on the right ahead of Samuel Kalu who started against the Bulls.
Nigeria had an obvious game plan, press hard and force errors, a strategy that paid off as early as the 19th minute when a goalmouth scramble and failed clearance saw Odion Ighalo tapped in from close range with a rude deflection helping the ball pass Andre Onana in the Lions’ goal for the opener.
End to end stuff followed with Cameroon leading the charge through the lively Christian Bassogog on the left but he didn’t find much joy against Nigeria’s Chigozie Awaziem at fullback.
Defensive frailties soon hurt the Super Eagles as a failed attempt to clear a tame looking cross by Kenneth Omeruo handed Bahoken a tap in from close range for a deserved equalizer and Clarence Seedorf’s men soon turned it around in its entirety three minutes later when Clinton Njie danced through the Nigerian defence before slotting beautifully past Daniel Akpeyi to the joy of Samuel Etoo who was watching from the gallery alongside Nigerian legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The second half was a totally different ball game as both sides went all out for it. Cameroon could have gone further clear when Omeruo nearly diverted past his own goalkeeper and Moses Simon fired well wide at the other end.
On the hour mark, Gernot Rohr replaced Simon with fans favourite, Samuel Chukwueze and he had an instant impact on the right to much applause from the entire stadium; a perfectly gauged chested pass from Ahmed Musa found Odion Ighalo unmarked, onside by millimetres and the bullish forward fired past Onana to level the game.
Just like Cameroon did in the first half, Nigerian needed just three minutes to jump into the lead; after a neat move from the Eagles, Ighalo picked out Alex Iwobi who made mistake from range to beat Onana for what proved to be the winner.
Ighalo could have had a hat-trick but his effort was well parried by the Ajax shot-stopper and the Eagles defence stood firm against everything the Lions threw at them which means Cameroon continue their search for a victory over Nigeria in Open play since 1989 with their last nations cup meeting coming in the 2004 edition in Tunisia, John Utaka scored the winner for the Super Eagles on the day after J.J Okocha had cancelled out Samuel Etoo’s opener.
Watch the official match highlights below: