Cameroon 1 - 1 Nigeria: as it happened, goals, match report
Cameroon 1 - 1 Nigeria: match report
A Vincent Aboubakar penalty has paused Nigeria’s surge towards the 2018 Russia World Cup, but it was not enough to salvage a chance of qualification for Cameroon. The burly striker sealed a draw for The Indomitable Lions in Yaoundé, cancelling out Simon Moses’ first half opener. Nigeria will have to wait to confirm their qualification. For Cameroon, the focus shifts to retaining their African Cup of Nations title.
The match was the second of a double-header between the two heavyweights of African football. Nigeria had emerged as 4-0 winners on Friday, and carried the confidence of that victory in to the following meeting between the two sides.
The opening stages were even. Cameroon dominated possession, and Nigeria were happy for their hosts to retain the ball in safe areas. With Victor Moses and his namesake Simon on the wings, the Super Eagles were suited to playing on the counter-attack.
The two combined to open the scoring for Nigeria after half an hour. Victor Moses, a fizzing, energetic threat, found space for a snapshot in the box. The ball ricocheted away from goal, but straight in to the path of Simon Moses, who guided it in to the roof of the net with his left foot and wheeled away for a gymnastic celebration.
The goal caused play to stretch. Arnaud Djoum was Cameroon’s main attacking outlet on the right flank as the game rolled exhilaratingly towards half time.
After the break, Cameroon continued to prod at the Nigerian defence, but with little joy. The double substitution of Vincent Aboubakar and Christian Bassogog altered the dynamic. The former provided a focal point in attack, the latter a touch of flair.
Victor Moses could have doubled Nigeria’s lead with 67 minutes on the clock. The Chelsea man, omnipresent for his national team, jinked on to his left foot, and then back on to his right before launching a curling shot towards the far post. The ball kissed the top of the bar as it went over.
The Super Eagles were made to rue missed chances ten minutes later, when inexperienced goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa misjudged a sprawling dive at the feet of Djoum. The Senegalese referee put his whistle to his lips.
Vincent Aboubakar stood with his hands on his hips, and ambled towards the penalty spot. A glance upwards told the Cameroon striker that the goalkeeper was diving to his right, and Aboubakar arrowed the ball in to the centre of the goal.
Ezenwa made up for his mistake with a stunning double save to deny Siani and then Collins Fai as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes. Cameroon launched waves of attack, but the goal would not come. As Nigeria prepare for one last haul, it is back to the drawing board for Cameroon.
Cameroon 1 - 1 Nigeria: as it happened
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