At the peak of their powers, encounters involving Nigeria and Cameroon decided the fate of the championships on the African continent, that’s in the past now
Eight Africa Cup of Nations titles between them and the reigning champions, the two giants meet on Saturday in Alexandria at the round of 16 like is the case at the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations.
Cameroon are seeking a sixth title, that would put them one behind the hosts and record-holders Egypt who are on seven, while Nigeria are targeting a fourth, and a first since 2013.
Cameroon’s head coach Clarence Seedorf has a lot to prove to critics especially with his track record as a coach, his side qualified second in their group behind Ghana, winning once and drawing twice, they are yet to concede a goal.
The Dutch football legend expects to face a very tough and stubborn Nigerian side, who also qualified number two in their group, after picking two wins off Burundi (1-0) and Guinea (1-0) before losing 2-0 to Madagascar.
“We will respect Nigeria because they can improve on what they’ve shown so far in this tournament,” Seedorf said at the pre-match conference before adding.
“We expect the very best Nigeria tomorrow because they have shown at the World Cup and during the qualifiers that they are a good team, so we expect them to be much improved against us and we have to be ready.”
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is worried for his side especially after the manner in which they lost to Madagascar.
“I am scared of us committing individual errors and I hope we won’t have individual errors tomorrow that will cost us,” Gernot Rohr said on Friday.
“We know that Cameroon are very strong with good footballing education in France and we hope we can find their weak points,” Rohr said.
Addressing fitness issues, Rohr said he had a full complement of players to choose from with left-back Jamilu Collins fit again although, Shehu Abdullahi and John Mikel Obi are still ruled out with injury.