Nigeria vs Cameroon: 5 most memorable matches as Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions renew hostilities in AFCON 2023

5 Most memorable Nigeria vs Cameroon matches

Nigeria vs Cameroon: 5 most memorable matches as Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions renew hostilities in AFCON 2023

Ayoola Kelechi 11:33 - 27.01.2024

The Super Eagles and the Indomitable Lions have played out some absolute classics in the history of their storied rivalry

The football rivalry between Nigeria and Cameroon, especially in the context of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), is one of the most intense and storied in African football.

These matches have not only showcased the immense talent and passion prevalent in African football but have also been a battleground for national pride and regional supremacy.

This rivalry is not just about football; it's a showcase of passion, national pride, and a testament to the high-quality football that Africa has to offer. Each match between Nigeria and Cameroon is more than just a game - it's a chapter in the rich football history of both nations.

These two African giants have put up some of the most exhilarating and storied matches in the continent’s history showcasing the best talent, quality and passion that Africa has witnessed.

Nigeria 4-0 Cameroon (2018 World Cup qualifier)

On the 1st of September 2017, Nigeria’s Super Eagles hosted their illustrious rivals, desperate for a win to keep their World Cup qualification efforts on track and put on one of the most incredible displays of football that the national team has ever witnessed.

The Super Eagles dismantled Cameroon’s supposedly Indomitable Lions with a complete performance from back to front, keeping a cleansheet and scoring four times through Odion Ighalo, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, and a young Kelechi Iheanacho.

Nigeria 3-2 Cameroon (2019 Round of 16)

Nigeria’s dominance over Cameroon continued into the 2019 AFCON tournament hosted by Egypt in an intense topsy turvy affair that saw both teams take the lead at different points.

Alex Iwobi scores Nigeria's winner against Cameroon in 2019 | Imago
Alex Iwobi scores Nigeria's winner against Cameroon in 2019 | Imago

Nigeria opened the scoring through Odion Ighalo once again, but Stephane Bahoken and Clinton N’Jie put the Indomitable Lions in the lead going into half-time.

The Super Eagles fought back after the break, and goals from Ighalo and Alex Iwobi snatched a dramatic 3-2 win to send Nigeria into the semifinals.

Cameroon 1-0 Nigeria (1988 Final)

This was the first but not the last controversial meeting between Nigeria and Cameroon as the Indomitable Lions beat the Super Eagles to claim their second AFCON title.

Nigeria thought they had taken the lead through a Henry Nwosu header, but the perfectly legitimate goal was ruled out for offside before Cameroon legend Emmanuel Kunde scored the only goal of the game just after halftime to seal a highly disputed victory for the Indomitable Lions.

Nigeria 2-1 Cameroon (2004 quarterfinal)

Nigeria got their revenge for a painful loss in the 2000 AFCON final at home against Cameroon, knocking their fierce rivals out in the quarterfinal of the 2004 edition of the Cup of Nations.

Cameroon looked like they would reprise their performance from earlier meetings against the Super Eagles early on after Samuel Eto’o scored to give the Indomitable Lions the lead, but Nigeria’s captain and legend Jay Jay Okocha ensured that the sides would go into the break level with a stunning freekick.

Midway through the second half, Nigeria grabbed the winner as an inspired pass from Nwankwo Kanu played John Utaka through on goal and the Lens striker finished with aplomb to give the Super Eagles sweet revenge.

Cameroon (4)2-(3)2 Nigeria (2000 final)

Perhaps the most memorable fixture between Nigeria and Cameroon, happened at the Super Eagles’ home turf in the National Stadium, Lagos, with the Indomitable Lions inflicting a torturous defeat on their hosts to deny them the AFCON crown.

Cameroon were dominant for most of the match and leading by two goal after just over thirty minutes of the encounter through goals by the dynamic duo of Patrick Mboma and Eto’o.

Nigeria launched a brave fightback and were level after two goals either side of half-time by Okocha. The Super Eagles held firm despite a barrage of Cameroonian attacks and took the match to penalties, only to be denied by misses from the spot from Kanu and Victor Ikpeba.

Both misses remain contentious however, as Kanu was forced to retake his initially scored penalty kick, while Ikpeba’s penalty was ruled to have not been a goal despite appearing to cross the goal line. Cameroon captain Rigobert Song scored the winning penalty to send over 60,000 Nigerians in the stadium into agony.

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