CAMEROON DRAW SETS UP EPIC NIGERIA SHOWDOWN
Cameroon will face off with perennial Africa Cup of Nations rivals Nigeria in the Round of 16 following a 0-0 draw with Benin on Tuesday.
The Indomitable Lions, who came into the final round of group matches atop Group F, were unable to consolidate their hold on top spot. In the wake of a largely forgettable game, their inability to break down Benin’s Squirrels means they finish second in the group behind Ghana.
The Black Stars recorded their first victory of the tournament against Guinea-Bissau, with second-half goals from Jordan Ayew and Thomas Partey ultimately giving them a 2-0 win. Guinea Bissau twice hit the frame of the goal, and were made to rue their luck as Ghana found a way through despite looking uninspired for large periods.
Both Ghana and Cameroon finished with a haul of five points from three matches, and were tied on goal difference, but Ghana top the standings by virtue of goals scored, and will face Group E runners-up Tunisia in the Round of 16. Benin, with three draws and a goal difference of zero, also progress as one of the best third-place teams, and will face tournament favourites Morocco.
Clarence Seedorf’s side will go up against the Super Eagles, whose surprising loss to Madagascar saw them finish second in Group B, and against whom they have an excellent AFCON record, in Alexandria on July 6.
Five-time African champions Cameroon, despite having an inferior overall record against Nigeria, have defeated them in three AFCON final matches – in 1984, 1988 and 2000 – and have lost only two of six meetings with their neighbours in the history of the competition.