5, September 2017
African champions La Republique du Cameroun cannot qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia after a 1-1 draw with Nigeria in Yaounde on Monday. The result means La Republique have just three points from four matches and can no longer finish top of Group B.
“There’s no-one in life who achieves all his goals [but] it’s a disappointment,” Indomitable Lions coach Hugo Broos said after the game. In Monday’s other match, Libya earned a 1-0 win over Guinea in Group A. Nigeria took the lead in Yaounde after 30 minutes through Moses Simon but their hosts equalised with 15 minutes to go through a Vincent Aboubakar penalty.
The Super Eagles’ goal came after La Republique failed to clear and Simon profited after touches from Odion Ighalo and Victor Moses. On the hour, Cameroon coach Hugo Broos made two changes as Vincent Aboubakar and Christian Bassagog came on to replace Benjamin Moukandjo and Jean-Pierre Nsame.
The changes had the desired affect as the Indomitable Lions pushed forward and forced Nigeria’s third choice keeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa into a foul in the area. Aboubakar stepped up to score the penalty in the 75th minute firing the ball straight down the middle. But Ezenwa made amends for the penalty error with two saves in quick succession to deny first Nicolas Moumi and moments later Collins Fai.
The other match in Group B sees Algeria host Zambia in Constantine later on Tuesday. A win for Zambia will take them to seven points, just three behind Nigeria with two games to play – while Algeria must win to keep alive any slim hopes they still have of going to Russia.
In Monastir, Libya got their first points of this stage of the campaign despite being down to 10 men for the last quarter of their match against Guinea. Hamdou Mohamed scored the only goal of the game towards the end of the first half. Should Tunisia get a point against DR Congo on Tuesday, then both Libya and Guinea will be formally ruled out of contention for Russia 2018.