ABIDJAN: Ademola Lookman scored each targets as Nigeria defeated outdated rivals Cameroon 2-0 on Saturday to march on to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Nigerians had an early Semi Ajayi purpose disallowed following a VAR overview on this last-16 conflict earlier than the fixed urgent and bullying of the Cameroon protection by Victor Osimhen led to Lookman discovering the web within the thirty sixth minute.
A workforce that has grow to be impermeable at this AFCON then saved the Indomitable Lions at bay earlier than Lookman made certain of the victory within the ninetieth minute in entrance of twenty-two,085 followers on the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
They’ll now return to the identical venue for a last-eight assembly subsequent Friday with Angola, who earlier defeated Namibia 3-0.
“It was a giant efficiency from the workforce, we fought properly from the primary minute to the one hundredth minute,” mentioned Lookman.
With the fearsome Osimhen main from the entrance, the Tremendous Eagles are clearly a severe risk to reigning champions Senegal as they chase a fourth continental crown.
“I’m very proud of my boys. I feel our workforce did an excellent job in opposition to an excellent workforce. We deserved to win,” insisted Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro.
In the meantime, Cameroon coach Rigobert Music mentioned an absence of expertise value his aspect as they go residence.
“I’ve a younger workforce and gamers who’re studying at this degree,” he admitted.
“They’ll be taught and enhance from their errors. In two or three years from now will probably be the identical gamers however a distinct workforce.”
This fixture is a Cup of Nations basic, with the primary three of Cameroon’s 5 titles coming after wins over Nigeria within the closing.
The very first, when a aspect led by Roger Milla got here from behind to win 3-1 in 1984, was achieved on this identical stadium in Ivory Coast’s financial capital.
But Nigeria received the newest encounter with their neighbors, within the final 16 in Egypt 5 years in the past, and their present aspect got here into this match as favorites.
The Tremendous Eagles eased via their group unbeaten, whereas Cameroon wanted a stoppage-time purpose in opposition to Gambia to progress.
Their most recognizable title is Andre Onana, however the Manchester United goalkeeper was dropped for a second successive recreation, with Fabrice Ondoa of French third-tier aspect Nimes most popular between the posts.
Vincent Aboubakar, their skipper and primary purpose risk, was named among the many substitutes after lacking the group stage injured.
Nigeria introduced again captain William Troost-Ekong, Lookman and Alex Iwobi — scorer of the winner in that 2019 tie — in any case have been rested for his or her final match in opposition to Guinea-Bissau.
Their urgent recreation precipitated issues for Cameroon from the off, and Nigeria thought they’d taken the lead inside eight minutes.
A Moses Simon shot was saved by Ondoa however the ball broke to Ajayi and the West Bromwich Albion defender discovered the web regardless of the goalkeeper getting a contact.
Wild celebrations ensued, just for the Moroccan referee to come back throughout to the VAR monitor and disallow the purpose as a result of Ajayi was deemed offside and interfering when the preliminary shot got here in.
To not be discouraged, Nigeria didn’t cease working, with the tireless Osimhen setting the instance.
He provoked the opening purpose, dispossessing Oumar Gonzalez after a throw-in had been performed again towards the Cameroon defender, after which unselfishly establishing Lookman.
The Atalanta ahead’s shot was straight at Ondoa, however the goalkeeper might solely assist the ball on its method.
Osimhen slumped to the turf on the half-time whistle, however the African footballer of the yr found the vitality to go once more after the restart.
Peseiro has pressured that the precedence for his workforce has been to ensure they don’t concede targets, they usually stood agency regardless of having goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili stretchered off late on.
Aboubakar’s introduction for Cameroon modified nothing, and Nigeria received the killer second simply earlier than the sport moved into 10 minutes of harm time.
Calvin Bassey crossed low from the left and London-born Lookman utilized the end.