In a thrilling encounter at the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria emerged victorious, securing their place in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over traditional rivals Cameroon.
Ademola Lookman stole the spotlight with a stellar performance, scoring both goals that propelled The Super Eagles to the next stage of the tournament.
The match began with intensity as Semi Ajayi’s early effort was disallowed by VAR, deemed offside. However, it was Ademola Lookman who broke the deadlock in the 36th minute, capitalizing on a well-timed pass from Victor Osimhen. Lookman’s shot managed to slip past goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa, who got the nod over Manchester United’s Andre Onana.
Throughout the game, Nigeria’s offensive prowess, fuelled by the energetic Osimhen, kept the pressure on Cameroon. Lookman, in particular, showcased his skill with a free-kick that narrowly missed the target. Despite the positive momentum, a setback occurred for Nigeria when goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili suffered an injury in the 75th minute, having had no saves to make before his departure.
Vincent Aboubakar, the Golden Boot winner of the 2021 edition, made a late appearance for Cameroon, but he failed to make a significant impact. In the dying moments of the match, Lookman secured the victory with a well-placed finish from Calvin Bassey’s cross during stoppage time.
The win sets up an exciting quarter-final clash for Nigeria, who will face Angola in the next round. Notably, the tournament has witnessed an unusual openness, but both Nigeria and Cameroon, despite their throwback style of play, have proven their mettle and advanced in a competition steeped in history.
The encounter between Nigeria and Cameroon is a classic rivalry that dates back to 1980. As Ghana has struggled to replicate the success of CK Gyamfi, these two nations have emerged as the most successful in sub-Saharan Africa, with both having secured Olympic gold. The history between the teams includes three instances where Cameroon emerged victorious over Nigeria in Cup of Nations finals, adding an extra layer of significance to their recent clash.
Additional sources • Nadia Colombe Gbané. Eurosport. The Guardian