Lookman’s Brace Sends Super Eagles To AFCON Quarterfinals

Nigeria have secured a berth in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after they defeated Cameroon 2-0 at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on Saturday night.

This round of 16 clash was decided by a brace of goals from Ademola Lookman, who struck on 36 and 90 minutes to see the Super Eagles triumph over the Indomitable Lions and continue their quest to win a fourth continental crown.

Nigeria created all the early pressure and had the ball in the back of the net via Semi Ajayi in the ninth minute, but the goal was scrapped – after a VAR review – due to an offside in the build up.

Cameroon stabilised their defence and were able to find more of a rhythm, though the Super Eagles remained the more potent attacking force.

And the team in dark green were rewarded with a goal in the 36th minute, as Victor Osimhen stole the ball off defender Oumar Gonzalez and teed up Ademola Lookman, whose low shot was half saved by Fabrice Ondoa, but the ball trickled over the goal line for 1-0.

The Indomitable Lions looked for a quick reply, but were unable to muster any clear chances, as the teams went to the interval with Nigeria a goal to the good.

And the Super Eagles almost doubled their advantage 10 minutes after the restart when Lookman whipped a shot just over the crossbar direct from a free kick.

Cameroon looked to up their attacking pressure and called on veteran striker Vincent Aboubakar, who suffered an injury in the build-up to the AFCON and made his 2023 tournament debut by replacing Gonzalez in the 78th minute.

Nigeria also needed to replace goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali – who suffered a heavy collision with Georges-Kevin N’Koudou with Francis Uzoho.

The Super Eagles looked set to kill off the game on 85 minutes when Ola Aina had a glaring chance in front of goal, but his effort was heroically blocked by Tolo Nouhou.

However, the decisive blow finally arrived in the 90th minute when Lookman provided a beautiful finish from Calvin Bassey’s cross to make it 2-0 and secure the Super Eagles’ path to the last eight of the AFCON.

Nigeria will go on to face Angola in the first quarterfinal, set for the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium on Friday 2 February.

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