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AFCON 2023: Lookman brace leads Nigeria past neighbors Cameroon

Ademola Lookman struck twice on Saturday as Nigeria qualified for the quarterfinals at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 defeat of Cameroon in Abidjan. Lookman scored a goal in each half to lead the Super Eagles to victory over a Cameroon team who committed costly mistakes and had no response to the speed of the Nigerian attack. The Super Eagles are set for a quarterfinal date with Angola on February 2 following Saturday’s victory.

The two titans of African football both came out with formations that featured five defenders, opening up the midfield for a first half that was up and down throughout. Nigeria appeared to strike first before the ten minute mark following a corner kick but defender Semi Ajayi was judged to be offsides by VAR before he collected and finished from a scramble in the six-yard box.

Nigeria would find their opener before halftime and it was the speed of the attack that caused an error from the Cameroonian defense. In the 36th minute, Cameroon defender Oumar Gonzalez took too much time and Nigeria star Victor Osimhen was off and running towards goal after stealing the ball. Osimhen drew another defender and laid a pass off to Lookman whose underwhelming shot just snuck under Cameroon goalkeeper Fabric Ondoa and over the line before the ball could be cleared.

Cameroon had no plan to break down a Nigerian team that defended in numbers and had the speed in the attack to cause the Indomitable Lions issues. Even the introduction of captain and striker Vincent Aboubakar did nothing for Cameroon who failed to muster a single shot to trouble Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, who was forced off for Francis Uzoho due to injury in the 80th minute. Late on the Nigerian victory was confirmed when Lookman collected a Calvin Bassey cross from the left wing and fired past Ondoa.

Highlights from Saturday’s second Round of 16 match will be below when available.

Match Highlights

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