Nigeria wait on for Russia 2018 ticket

Nigeria’s Super Eagles will have to wait one more game to be certain of a ticket for the World Cup in Russia next year following a 1-1 draw in Yaounde against Cameroon.

After a shock 4-0 win against Cameroon in Uyo on Friday, the Eagles were expected to complete the rout in Yaounde and become the first African country to qualify for the World Cup but conceded a late penalty after going ahead in the first half.

Despite injury concerns for Odion Ighalo after the first leg, Gernot Rohr stuck with the same starting eleven from three days ago.

It was fine play by Odion Ighalo in the 30th minute that put the Cameroonian defence in disarray as he rammed his way into the box after a pass from Shehu, down to the goal line, holding up play well.

A poor clearance got to Victor Moses, who volleyed the ball back into the box but a simple touch from Ighalo and the ball was at the feet of Moses Simon who then put the ball behind the reach of Ondoa in goal for Cameroon.

Ighalo should have scored three minutes later after he was freed by Victor Moses. Ighalo held up play well, dribbled past a defender but his left footed shot went wide.

The Eagles held on to their one goal lead until half time when it seemed the Cameroonians played their way back into the game.

With increased pressure on Nigeria, Leon Balogun was yellow carded in the 52nd minute and then a few minutes later, Bassgog replaced Moukanjo while Vincent Aboubakar was thrown in for Nsame.

Olinga got a yellow card in the 63rd minute and a fatigued John Mikel Obi was taken off for Mikel Agu, the exact same change in Uyo on Friday.

The hosts continued to increase the pressure on Nigeria until a rash challenge by the previously calm Ikechukwu Ezenwa in goal for Nigeria resulted in a penalty for Cameroon in the 75th minutes.

Vincent Aboubakar coolly tucked it in and there was more pressure on the Eagles who now began to play off the counter.

Ngamaleu replaced Olinga in the 81st minute, Victor Moses hit the cross bar, Ezenwa saved off a stunner from Zamboa Nguisa, Oghenekaro Etebo replaced Onazi and it was a stalemated affair after 90 plus a few minutes.

Nigeria have 10 points from 4 games and are followed by Zambia who have 4 points from 3 games.

Zambia play at Algeria on Tuesday, both needing a win to stand a mathematical chance of toppling Nigeria to qualify for the World Cup. For Cameroon their race is over.

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