By Augustine Akhilomen
Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face one of their toughest challenges in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as they host the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Friday.
There is no doubt that the two football power house in Africa need to dig out the maximum points or atleast a point to avoid been completely left behind in the race for the automatic slot in Group B.
Already, the three-time Africa champions sit top of the group table with six points after beating Zambia 2-1 and Algeria 3-1. While the current Africa champions have managed two points having drawn 2-2 against Algeria and 1-1 against Zambia respectively.
Friday’s encounter will be the 20th meetings between the two teams. In 19 previous encounters, Nigeria have been
winners 11 times, with Cameroon winning four
times and four matches drawn.
Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, whose only defeat has come against South Africa in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo, will be desperate to seal the three points in a bid to consolidate and extend the team’s lead on the table.
Despite losing Arsenal forward, Alex Iwobi to injury, Rohr will be banking on the full compliments of his European based players to condemned the Indomitable Lions to another defeat at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
When the two teams last clashed, at the Edmond Machtens Stadium in Brussels in October 2015, the Eagles ran away 3-0 winners. Efe Ambrose
rose highest in the Lions’ box to nod home a Mikel John Obi free –kick, before Moses Simon
rounded the goalkeeper for the second goal and Odion Ighalo headed the third after a splendid pull–out by Elderson Echiejile.
Meanwhile, Rohr has stated that the team the team would focus on their tactical approach in a bid to outsmart their Cameroonian counterpart.
“The players know what it means to face Cameroon in the World Cup qualifier. It is a big match and we are fully focused and
committed. The players know what it means; they need little or no reminding of how important this match is. I am happy we have almost the full house now and can concentrate on our tactics for the game,” said Rohr.
In the same vein, Super Eagles midfielder and Captain, Mikel Obi
has reiterated the team’s committment to brush aside the threat made by the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon ahead of Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier in Uyo.
“These three points will go a long way in our qualifying campaign. We have got a very good team . We have got a very young team with a lot of quality ,” Mikel said.
“We are on top of the table on Six points and we want to win . Cameroon also want to win , so it’s really going to be a do- or- die affair . We are looking forward to the game and we want to make sure we qualify and hopefully we will do that. We need to make sure we qualify first. There is a big task ahead of us”
NIGERIA & CAMEROON AT SENIOR LEVEL
8 Dec 1962: Nigeria 3 Cameroon 1 – Lagos (Nkrumah Cup)
1 Jan 1963: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Yaounde (Nkrumah Cup)
7 Dec 1968: Nigeria 1 Cameroon 1 – Lagos (World Cup Qualifier)
22 Dec 1968: Cameroon 2 Nigeria 3 – Douala (World Cup Qualifier)
13 Feb 1972: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Yaounde (Friendly)
22 Jan 1975: Nigeria 1 Cameroon 0 – Lagos (Friendly)
17 July 1978: Cameroon 0 Nigeria 0 – Algiers (All-Africa Games)
2 Feb 1980: Nigeria 0 Cameroon 0 – Ibadan – (Friendly)
18 Mar 1984: Cameroon 3 Nigeria 1 – Abidjan (ACN Final)
17 Mar 1988: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 1 – Rabat (ACN – group phase)
27 Mar 1988: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 0 – Casablanca (ACN Final)
10 Jun 1989: Nigeria 2 Cameroon 0 – Ibadan (World Cup Qualifier)
27 Aug 1989: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 0 – Yaounde (World Cup Qualifier)
25 Jan 1992: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Dakar (ACN– Bronze medal game)
7 Aug 1997: Cameroon 0 Nigeria 1 – Tunis (LG Cup)
13 Feb 2000: Nigeria 2 Cameroon 2 (3-4 penalties) – Lagos (ACN Final)
1 Jun 2003: Nigeria 3 Cameroon 0 – Lagos (LG Cup)
8 Feb 2004: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Monastir (ACN – group phase)
11 Oct 2015: Nigeria 3 Cameroon 0 – Brussels (Friendly)