Odion Ighalo scored twice and teed up Alex Iwobi’s winning goal as Nigeria eliminated defending Africa Cup of Nations champions Cameroon after a thrilling 3-2 victory in Alexandria on Saturday.
Odion Ighalo gave Nigeria a 19th-minute lead but Cameroon hit back with two goals in quick succession before half-time from Stéphane Bahoken and Clinton Njié.
Ighalo levelled again for Nigeria – who have lost three finals to Cameroon – in the 63rd minute amid suspicions of offside .Three minutes later Ighalo turned provider as he set up Iwobi, who beat André Onana with a calm finish to set off wild celebrations.
Ighalo joined Senegal star Sadio Mane on a tournament-leading three goals and he played a key role in Iwobi’s decisive strike on 66 minutes, threading the ball through to the Arsenal winger to side-foot past Onana.
The Cameroon coach, Clarence Seedorf, said his team paid for sitting on their lead. “We slowed down a little too much instead of trying to score the third goal,” he said. “Obviously Nigeria has all the quality to score goals and I think that was what went wrong, in general terms.”