Nigeria Oust Cameroon To Reach Quarters… Face Angola Friday

Ademola Lookman (L) fired Nigeria into the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations


Ademola Lookman’s brace ensured Nigeria a place in next weekend’s Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals as they beat long-standing foes Cameroon 2-0 in the round of 16 on Saturday.

Lookman’s 36th minute goal at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium opened the scoring and he contributed a second on the stoke of full time as Nigeria largely outplayed Cameroon.

They will face Angola in the last eight in Abidjan on Friday after the Angolans beat Namibia 3-0 in Bouake earlier on Saturday in the first of the knockout round games.

“We’re into the quarterfinals and we’ve worked so hard to be there,” Lookman said. “We’re behind each other and we don’t take anything for granted. And I think it shows in our work ethic, how we fight for each other, how we defend, how we attack. So that’s the way we celebrate.”

While Lookman’s double made him a key figure in the win, Nigeria’s African Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen, proved outstanding with his work rate and drove his team to victory.

“It’s not easy to stop that guy,” Nigeria coach José Paseiro said. “It’s fantastic for a team with very good players, when one good striker can defend like an attack.

“Sometimes you need to put the ball in, and he’ll win the ball, against two or three, and wait for our team to arrive. OK, no one can win a match alone … it’s not easy choosing my team, but it’s my life.”

It was as much as Nigeria deserved, showing much improved form after a largely uninspiring showing in the group phase where they finished second in their section.

Osimhen made the first goal by closing down defender Oumar Gonzalez and robbing him of the ball before unselfishly feeding it to his right to Lookman whose shot was close to goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa but somehow sneaked under him into the net.

Lookman had an opportunity for a second goal in the 56th minute from a free kick on the edge of the Cameroon penalty area as Osimhen’s pace continually troubled the Indomitable Lions.