Nigeria made an excellent start to life without captain Vincent Enyeama as they eased to a comfortable 3-0 friendly win over 10-man Cameroon.
The goalkeeper retired from international football last week following a reported rift with head coach Sunday Oliseh, but he was not missed against lacklustre opposition in Brussels.
Second-half goals from the impressive Moses Simon and substitute Odion Ighalo put the result beyond doubt following Efe Ambrose’s opener before the interval.
Any hopes of a Cameroon comeback were al but ended a minute into the second half when captain Sebastien Siani received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
And Nigeria soon capitalised on their numerical advantage through Simon’s strike, Igalho rounding off the triumph in the 89th minute with a close-range header after Cameroon forward Vincent Aboubakar had a goal disallowed.
The loss was just the second of 2015 for Volker Finke’s Cameroon, while the victory provides a timely morale boost for Nigeria ahead of their African Nations Championship qualifier against Burkina Faso next weekend.
Determined to make amends for their 2-0 defeat to DR Congo last time out, Oliseh’s side came out strong this time round, with Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa on form to deny both Sylvester Igboun and Emmanuel Emenike.
But Nigeria made their dominance count shortly before half-time, Ambrose – who had gone close to scoring an own goal at the other end with an over-hit back pass a few moments earlier – heading home from John Obi Mikel’s free-kick.
Thing got worse for Cameroon a minute into the second half, Siani picking up his second yellow card after diving in on Igboun.
Nigeria duly extended their lead on the hour mark, Simon slaloming through Cameroon’s defence before lashing a finish into the bottom-right corner.
Aboubakar thought he had pulled Cameroon back into contention with 15 minutes remaining, but his strike was ruled out for offside.
It mattered little, however, with Watford forward Ighalo coming off the bench to nod in a third late on.
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