Nigeria 3-0 Cameroon in Brussels
The Eagles fueled by barrage of criticisms following their dreary outing against DR Congo, brought Volker Finke’s side down to their feet in Belgium
Nigeria defeated Cameroon 3-0 in Sunday’s international friendly played at the Edmond Machtens-Stadion in Brussels, Belgium.
The Super Eagles decimated their age-long rivals through goals from Efe Ambrose, Moses Simon and Odion Ighalo to return to winning ways after their gloomy outing against DR Congo on Thursday.
It was the first meeting between both sides since Jay Jay Okocha scored a free kick to eliminate the Lions in the quarter final of the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
Coach Volker Finke named a strong XI that included the likes of Stephane Mbia, Benjamin Moukandjo, Sébastien Bassong and Vincent Aboubacar but his side struggled to find top gear at the Edmond Stadium.
While Sunday Oliseh made three changes to the starting XI that played against Congo, Emmanuel Emenike for Ighalo, Simon for Rabiu Ibrahim and Efe Ambrose for William Troost-Ekong.
The Indomitable Lions made a lively start and Moukandjo should have scored within the third minute but could only slip Leonard Kweuke’s pass wide of Carl Ikeme’s right-hand post.
Few minutes later, Mbia failed to deal with a backpass and Ahmed Musa took advantage by intercepting before cutting the ball back for Emmanuel Emenike, whose effort was blocked by the Cameroonian defense.
Nigeria could have gone ahead in the ninth minute after Simon dribbled past three Indomitable Lions defenders but was intercepted by Aurelien Chedjou.
Ambrose gave Nigeria the lead in the 39th minute when he rose above every player in the Cameroonian goal area to nod home John Obi Mikel’s freekick. That gave the Eagles more confidence as they pressured on for more goals, and could have doubled the lead before the half time break but missed begging chances.
Having finished the first half the stronger of the duo, Nigeria were under threat early in the second half as Moukandjo flashed an effort wide of goal and in the 47th minute, the Lions’ chances of launching a comeback suffered a massive setback as captain Mbia was given the marching order after a second bookable offence.
Sunday Oliseh’s men profited from this numerical advantage to fire home their second through Simon who placed the ball to the left of goalkeeper Ondoa following a tailor-made fast counter-attacking cross from Musa.
However, a number of minor fouls stopped either side from getting into full flow, with the dangerous Mikel next to test Ondoa before Emenike failed to connect with a cross from the left.
Substitute Ighalo made it three with two minutes to the end of the game after nodding home a cross from Elderson Echiejile following pretty passing by the Nigerians which left the Lions glued to their spots.
Nigeria’s next international outing is against Djibouti or Swaziland in the 2018 Fifa World Cup second round qualifiers in November.