By Albert Akota
African champion, Cameroon will play Nigeria in the Round of 16 after failing to top their group, with two goalless draw against Ghana and Benin in Group F.
The Black Stars will take on the runners-up from Group E, where all four teams remain in contention, for a place in the quarter-finals while Benin scraped through as one of the best third-place sides, AFP reports.
Saturnin Allagbe replaced Fabien Farnolle in goal for Benin and produced fine saves to deny Ambroise Oyongo and Cameroon captain Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting but the Indomitable Lions again looked worryingly blunt in attack.
Clarence Seedorf’s side have scored just twice in Egypt, in the opening 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau, and their path to retaining the title grew increasingly more difficult with a wounded Nigeria now awaiting them in the next round and hosts Egypt likely facing the winner of that tie.
Jordan Ayew struck for the second time in three matches in the group’s other game in Suez as Ghana sent Guinea-Bissau home without a point or a goal.
Richard Ofori made a sharp stop to prevent former Liverpool youth team forward Toni Silva giving Guinea-Bissau a shock lead but Ayew, who endured a miserable season at Crystal Palace, has rediscovered his form for his country.
Clarence Seedorf’s men were held to a 0-0 draw by the Squirrels of Benin in their last Group F match at the Suez Stadium yesterday. The Black Stars of Ghana defeated Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in the other Group F match also played.
The Cameroonians recorded one win and two draws from their three group games.
The Super Eagles also finished in second position in Group B behind the Barea of Madagascar.
Gernot Rohr’s men won their opening two games in the competition but fell to a shocking 2-0 loss to Madagascar at the Alexandria Stadium last Sunday.
The game will see both teams rekindle their rivalry in the competition with the winner guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals.