Footy Times

Nigeria eliminate holders Cameroon in Afcon thriller

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Nigeria knocked out defending champions Cameroon in a five-goal last-16 thriller in the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.

Odion Ighalo put Nigeria ahead in Alexandria, Egypt in the 19th minute but two quick fire goals from Stephane Bahoken in 41th minute and Clinton Njie in 44th minute saw Cameroon lead 2-1 at half-time.

But the Super Eagles responded in same fashion in the second half by scoring two goals in three minutes to emerge winner in the clash of old rivals.

Continent’s both the heavyweights suffered disappointing results in their final group matches to finish second and set up a crunch battle in the prequarter finals itself.

Nigeria came to the match suffering a shock defeat to Madagascar in their final group match but looked on course to advance to the last eight with scrappy opening goal in the 19th minute.

A cross to the back post was scuffed across goal by Kenneth Omeruo and Ighalo was in the right place to divert it past Andre Onana with the help of a deflection.

The goal woke up the champions managed by Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf and they got the lifeline as halftime approached when Stéphane Bahoken struck to find the equalizer before his headed pass was collected and executed by Clinton N’jie to set up a pulsating second half.

But three-time champions Nigeria showed character to get themselves back on level terms through Ighalo’s cool first-time finish from eight yards and Arsenal ace Iwobi beat Onana with great composure to settle the tie in their favour.

Ighalo was denied a hat-trick by a fine save 14 minutes from time, but Gernot Rohr’s side saw things through to secure a place in the last eight.

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