UPDATED: Super Eagles qualify for quarter-final

Super Eagles celebrate goal against Cameroon. [Photo: Goal.com]
Super Eagles

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for the quarter-final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Coach Gernot Rohr’s men dug deep to beat their fierce rivals Cameroon 3-2 to book their place in the last eight.

Odion Ighalo scored two goals while Alex Iwobi scored what turned out to be the winning goal.

The Super Eagles will face whoever wins the tie between Egypt and South Africa in the quarter final.

Saturday’s encounter, as expected, started as a physical contest but Nigeria had the better chances in the opening minutes.

After missing earlier chances, the Super Eagles shot into the lead in the 19th minute through Ighalo’s effort, which was deflected into the back of Andre Onana’s net.

While it was expected that Nigeria will build on their lead, it was the other way round as they virtually lost control of the game and Clarence Seedorf’s men started applying pressure for an equaliser.

The sustained pressure by Cameroon paid off in the 41st minute, with Stephane Bahoken tapping in Bassogog’s cross past Daniel Akpeyi.

That bad situation turned worse for Nigeria as Njie fired the Indomitable Lions ahead a minute before the half-time break.

Five minutes after the restart, Ola Aina nearly made it three for Cameroon after deflecting Njie’s cross goal wards, but Akpeyi came to the rescue with his save.

Moses Simon was replaced by Samuel Chukwueze on the hour mark and that proved to be the turning point in the game played at the Alexandria Stadium.

Ighalo inspired the comeback at the 63rd minute after turning a pass from Ahmed Musa into the back of the net to set up a thrilling finale.

Even after getting the equaliser, Nigeria kept pushing for the lead and it came three minutes later, with Alex Iwobi finishing a fine assist from Ighalo.

While the Indomitable Lions, who are the defending AFCON champions, worked to fight back, the Super Eagles held their ground to advance to the last eight.

Nigeria will be up against the winner of the game between Egypt and South Africa in the quarterfinal on July 10.

The Super Eagles are in a hunt for their fourth AFCON title after previous triumphs in 1980, 1994 and 2013

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