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Nigeria battle past Cameroon to reach Cup of Nations semi-final and World Cup

By Paul Myers - RFI
Cup of Nations  Courtesy of CAF
JUL 14, 2022 LISTEN
© Courtesy of CAF

Defending champions Nigeria moved into the last four at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday night following a gritty 1-0 victory over Cameroon.

With this year's competition doubling as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup, the win also moved them into next year's tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Before that global event, Randy Waldrum's charges have a chance to add a 12th continental crown to their trophy cabinet.

They advanced to the semis and a clash against Morocco after a dour battle with their fellow west Africans at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.

It was illuminated though in the 58th minute with a dazzle of wizardry from Nigeria midfielder Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene. 

She showed fleet feet to keep hold of possession just outside the Cameroon penalty area despite the attentions of three defenders.

Skills
The 28-year-old fed the ball to Ifeoma Onumonu who floated over a cross towards Rasheedat Ajibade whose header went in off the inside of the net.

The setback failed to spark Cameroon who increasingly resorted to high balls into the penalty area.

But they proved little problem for goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie or her defenders superbly marshalled by veteran skipper Onome Ebi.

Challenge
Morocco, roared on by a partisan crowd, will be a tougher prospect than Cameroon.

Reynald Pedros's team looked sharp, organised and technically adept during their 2-1 victory over Botswana on Wednesday night at the Stade Moulay Abdellah in Rabat.

After nursing their wounds from the defeat, Cameroon will have another chance to book their ticket for a second consecutive World Cup.

They will play Botswana on Sunday night in a repechage. The winner wlll collect one of the two spots from the African confederation for the inter-confederation play-offs for a place in the antipodes. 

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