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Sports News of Saturday, 2 September 2017

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

2018 World Cup: Nigeria outclass African champions Cameroon with 4-0 hammering

Nigeria put in a superb performance to humble African champions Cameroon 4-0 in the teams’ 2018 World Cup qualifying match in Uyo on Friday evening.

The victory at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium - secured thanks to goals from Odion Ighalo, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho - saw the Super Eagles open a seven-point lead over the Indomitable Lions at the head of Group B and put them firmly on course for Russia 2018.

Cameroon started the stronger of the two teams, settling quickly into a passing rhythm and also pressing high up the pitch to make it difficult for the hosts to play out from the back.

However, Nigeria soon went up a couple of gears and began to dominate. Their first hint of a goal arrived in the 24th minute when Victor Moses’ free kick passed through the box and found the back of the net, but was ruled out for offside.

Yet it was only five more minutes until the Super Eagles broke the deadlock: striker Odion Ighalo outmuscled defender Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui to win a long ball before cutting inside and scoring with a superb low finish.

Cameroon needed goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa to make a terrific save on 36 minutes to keep out a goal-bound effort from Moses Simon, but there was nothing he could do six minutes later when John Obi Mikel made it 2-0, getting ahead of his marker to meet Moses’ corner kick and toe-poke the ball home from close range.

Nigeria added a third goal just 10 minutes into the second half, with a speedy counter attack seeing Moses exchange passes with fellow wideman Simon before firing home a low shot to effectively end the match as a contest.

And Cameroon’s match went from bad to worse when half-time substitute Eric Choupo-Moting pulled up with an injury and had to be replaced just before the hour mark.

Nigeria put the cherry on top with a fourth goal, arriving in the 76th minute: Moses and Ogenyi Onazi combined superbly down the right flank to hand substitute Kelechi Iheanacho a simple header into an almost empty net.

The teams will meet again for the return game in Yaounde on Monday evening, with the Indomitable Lions seeking redemption for this embarrassing defeat.