Nigeria thumped defending Africa Cup of Nations Champions, Cameroon to a 3-2 win in what was a captivating encounter to secure a place in the competition’s quarter finals.
Odion Ighalo scored twice and tabled a perfect teed up pass for Alex Iwobi to end with a sumptuous finish.
Ighalo who plies his trade in the Chinese league bundled home a scrappy opener in the early minutes of the encounter but two quick fire goals from Cameroon’s Stephane Bahoken and Clinton Njie before the break gave the defending Champions a scintillating lead.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria then drew level through Ighalo’s volley moments after the half hour mark before setting up Alex Iwobi for the winner, setting up a quarter final clash with favourites and host country, Egypt.
Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr paid the price of resting key players in the 2-0 shock loss to eventual group winners, Madagascar with Kenneth Omeruo, Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi returning to the Eagles starting lineup.
The Nigerian team knocked out West African rivals, Cameroon in the first knockout round the last time they were defending champions in 2004 and looked on track to repeat history as early as the 19th minute when Ighalo nudged Nigeria ahead with a scrappy opening goal.
Just before half-time Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui powered a header at the other end, Etebo sent a deep cross to the far post where it was driven back in the face of goal by Omeruo before Odion rifled home via a huge deflection that sent Andre Onana in the other direction.
It was the first time the Indomitable Lions had conceded a goal in this year’s competition but after scoring only two in their last three games, they matched that output by two quick goals before half-time.
Nigerian fans were disgruntled and staring at a possible penalty shoot out at the end of the ninety minutes but in the end Alex Iwobi’s goal took them through during normal time of the encounter.