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2018 World Cup Qualifying - CAF, Round Three
  • Odion Ighalo (29')
  • John Obi Mikel (42')
  • Victor Moses (55')
  • Kelechi Iheanacho (76')

Nigeria turn on the class to thrash Cameroon 4-0

John Obi Mikel Cristiane Mattos, EPA

Nigeria routed Africa's champions Cameroon 4-0 in Uyo to take a giant step towards next year's World Cup after goals from Odion Ighalo, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Cameroon were the continent's surprise champions in Gabon earlier this year, but their limitations were exposed during the Confederations Cup in Russia and completely laid bare in Uyo as Nigeria ran riot.

Ighalo opened the scoring in the 29th minute, and Mikel added a second before half time, while Moses made sure of victory with a strike ten minutes after the break.

Substitute Iheanacho wrapped up the triumph 14 minutes from time as the Super Eagles move up to nine points after three matches. They're seven ahead of second-placed Cameroon, with Algeria and Zambia both on one point ahead of their match in Lusaka on Saturday.

China-based Ighalo hadn't played for the Super Eagles for a year before Friday's match, and despite never previously scoring when picked from the start for Nigeria, he was the hosts' star man early on.

Visiting centre-backs Michael Ngadeu-Ndagjui and Adolphe Teikeu were both booked during the opening half an hour after resorting to dark arts to bring down the former Watford man, but had no answer when Ighalo opened the scoring in the 29th minute after being picked out by Mikel.

Moses Simon was denied by a point-blank save from Indomitable Lions stopper Fabrice Ondoa as Nigeria sought a second, while Ighalo should have had a glorious opportunity to add to his tally towards the end of the first half when Moses broke through on goal, only to hesitate at the death and allow the Cameroonian defenders to intercept.

However, the Chelsea forward's failure to pick out Ighalo went unpunished, as moments later, Mikel had added Nigeria's second when he fired home after Moses's corner wasn't cleared by the visitors.

Any hopes Cameroon had of clawing their way back into the contest were ended in the 55th minute when the impressive Moses - so often Nigeria's saviour during some of their biggest matches over the last four years - beat Ondoa after a counter attack.

Iheanacho completed the rout after coming off the bench, to hand Cameroon their worst result since 1968.

As Hugo Broos attempts to pick up his bruised and battered African champions for the return match in Yaounde on Monday, Nigerian fans can already begin dreaming of a third consecutive World Cup appearance next summer.

WC Qual - CAF News