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Ademola Lookman double fires Super Eagles past Cameroon, into AFCON 2023 quarter-finals

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Two goals from Ademola Lookman, one in either half, were enough to hand Nigeria’s Super Eagles a 2-0 win over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Saturday night and into the quarter-finals of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

In a game played at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, in Abidjan, the venue where Cameroon won the first of their five AFCON titles, it was the Nigerians, at whose expense the Indomitable Lions won that 1984 final (and two more in 1988 and 2000) who took the initiative as the Super Eagles took their unbeaten run against Cameroon to five successive competitive matches.

Jose Peseiro’s men thought they’d made the perfect start when Semi Ajayi poked into the net from close range after nine minutes for his second-ever international goal. However, a lengthy VAR review concluded that the West Brom defender strayed into an offside position and the Super Eagles were denied what they thought was their opening goal.

Nigeria’s Ademola Lookman (C) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2023 round of 16 football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 27, 2024. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

But the Indomitable Lions, who finished the game without hitting a shot on target, were dealt a deadly bowl after Oumar Gonzalez’s mistimed touch allowed Victor Osimhen to seize on the loose ball, race forward and feed through Lookman, whose shot was fumbled into the net by Cameroonian goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.

Nigeria started the second half on the front foot and Lookman went close to doubling his tally with a whipped free-kick from 20 yards.

The chances continued to fall for the Super Eagles and Lookman finally got his second goal of the night in injury time as he raced onto Calvin Bassey’s low cross to slam the ball into the net.

Nigeria will now take on Angola, who defeated Namibia earlier in the day, in the quarter-finals.

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