The Super Eagles took flight in a thrilling 3-2 victory in Alexandria on Saturday.
China-based forward Ighalo bundled home a scrappy opener but Clarence Seedorf’s Cameroon hit back through Stephane Bahoken and Clinton Njie with two quick-fire goals before half-time.
Nigeria drew level as Ighalo volleyed in his second just past the hour and he then turned provider to play in Iwobi to steer home three minutes later and set up the prospect of a highly anticipated quarter-final clash with hosts and favourites Egypt.
Seedorf’s penchant for change has seen the former Dutch star heavily rotate his Cameroon side in Egypt, with Karl Toko Ekambi dropping to the bench here and 2017 player of the tournament Christian Bassogog recalled along with Clinton Njie in a bid to breathe life into a faltering attack.
The Super Eagles eliminated Cameroon in the first knockout round the last time they were reigning champions in 2004, and their bid to repeat history looked on when Ighalo nudged Nigeria ahead with a scrappy opening goal after 19 minutes.
Ighalo’s first goal vs Cameroon
Nijie goal vs Nigeria
Iwobi goal vs Cameroon
Nigeria vs Cameroon – As it happened
Additional reporting by AFP.