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Africa Cup of Nations

Iwobi the match-winner as Nigeria oust holders Cameroon

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Alex Iwobi celebrates

Image credit: Getty Images

ByPaul Hassall
06/07/2019 at 17:54 | Updated 06/07/2019 at 21:27

Africa Cup of Nations last 16, Alexandria Stadium – Nigeria 3 (Ighalo 19 63, Iwobi 66) Cameroon 2 (Bahoken 41 Njie 44)

Alex Iwobi scored the winner as Nigeria booked their spot in the Afcon quarter finals after defeating holders Cameroon 3-2 in what was an enthralling heavyweight battle in Alexandria.

The Arsenal forward capped a crazy three-minute spell just past the hour to dump Clarence Seedorf's side out of the competition after former Watford striker, Odion Ighalo had pulled the Super Eagles level with his second of the contest.

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Cameroon had scored a quick-fire double of their own just prior to the interval as Stephane Bahoken and Clinton Njie cancelled out Ighalo's opener to put them in front.

The result sees the Indomitable Lions lose for the first time in 10 Afcon matches and means Gernot Rohr's Nigeria can now look ahead to a last eight clash with Egypt or South Africa in Cairo on July 10.

Highlights: Iwobi grabs winner as Nigeria beat Cameroon in thriller

00:02:05

TALKING POINT

Match of the tournament. Cameroon had failed to score in two of their group stage matches while Nigeria had only netted twice in their pool, so few observers were suggesting this would be an end-to-end goal-fest. The two nations have a rich history of superstar footballers and have won Afcon eight times between them, but their current sides perhaps lack the talent of those of yesteryear. However, they rose to the occasion and contributed to an entertaining rollercoaster of a match that made up for lapses of quality with exciting attacking football. It's the stand-out match of the tournament so far, and it'll take something special to beat it from here.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Odion Ighalo (Nigeria) The ex-Hornet took his tally to three for the tournament to join Sadio Mane at the top of the goal charts, and chipped in with an assist for Iwobi too. He could have put the icing on the cake of an all-action performance with a hat-trick but was thwarted by Andre Onana on two occasions late on.

Nigeria's forward Odion Ighalo celebrates his second goal with teammates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Alexandria Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 6, 2019

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

Cameroon: Onana 6, Mandjeck 6, Ngadeu-Ngadjui 6, Yaya 6, Oyongo 7, Fai 7, Choupo-Moting 6, Njie 8, Kunde Malong 6, Bahoken 8, Bassogog 7. Subs: Anguissa 6, Toko 6, Zoua n/a.

Nigeria: Akpeyi 6, Aina 7, Omeruo 8, Troost-Ekong 7, Awaziem 7, Ndidi 7, Etebo 8, Musa 8, Iwobi 8, Simon 7, Ighalo 9. Subs: Chukwueze 6, Onuachu n/a, Balogun n/a.

KEY MOMENTS

17' - CAMEROON CHANCE! Ngadeu-Ngadjui arrives on cue to meet a whipped left-wing corner, but bullets his header over the crossbar.

19' - GOAL! Cameroon 0-1 Nigeria. Ighalo reacts brilliantly to fire a deflected shot into the net after Kenneth Omeruo had kept a left-wing cross alive by drilling it back into the danger zone.

41' - GOAL! Cameroon 1-1 Nigeria. Bahoken peels off his man and guides it into the net from Christian Bassogog's sumptuous cross from the left.

44' - GOAL! Cameroon 2-1 Nigeria. Cameroon lead! Bahoken flicks-on for Njie, who holds off his man before steering a shot beyond the keeper.

63' - GOAL! Cameroon 2-2 Nigeria. Ighalo slams in his second on the volley after Musa had chested a right-wing cross into his path.

66' - GOAL! Cameroon 2-3 Nigeria. Now it's Nigeria's turn to grab a quick-fire double. Iwobi makes a clever run into the box and coolly slides a first-time finish home after a lovely pass from Ighalo.

75' - NIGERIA CHANCE! Ighalo lets fly for the hat-trick but sees his effort brilliantly blocked by Onana.

KEY STATS

Cameroon scored two goals in the first half of an Afcon match for the first time since 2008 against Tunisia.

The Super Eagles have won seven of their last eight games at Afcon (but have been absent from the last two tournaments).

Five goals were scored in a knockout phase at the African Cup of Nations for the first time since January 31, 2015 (Congo 2-4 DR Congo)

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Related Topics
FootballAfrica Cup of NationsCameroonNigeria
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