Victory for Jose Peseiro’s men will see them lock horns against Angola or Namibia in the last eight
Nigeria’s expedition towards a fourth Africa Cup of Nations diadem continues with a Round of 16 showdown against eternal rivals Cameroon.
While the Super Eagles qualified for the knockout round with a draw, two wins from three matches, the Indomitable squeezed through as having accrued four points thanks to one win and a draw.
Regardless, a quarter-final place is the bone of contention when they lock horns in a showdown that promises to be thrilling at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
Nigeria go into this classic as favourites as they have dominated the most recent meetings between the two countries. They claimed victory during the quarter-finals in the 2004 edition as well as the a Round of 16 win during the 2019 showpiece.
Having leaked two goals in their 3-2 triumph over Gambia their last time out, Rigobert Song’s men have now conceded six goal in all three encounter so far in Cote d’Ivoire.
Game Nigeria vs Cameroon
Date Saturday, January 27
Time 9:00 pm
Squads & Team News
Nigeria: Olorunleke Ojo, Stanley Nwabali, Francis Uzoho, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, Calvin Bassey, Bruno Onyemaechi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, Alhassan Yusuf, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman, Umar Sadiq.
Cameroon: Andre Onana, Dévis Epassy, Simon Ngapandouetnbu, Fabrice Ondoa, Jean-Charles Castelletto, Harold Moukoudi, Oumar Gonzalez, Darlin Yongwa, Nouhou Tolo, Christopher Wooh, Enzo Tchato, Junior Tchamadeu, Malcolm Bokele, Yvan Neyou, Olivier Kemen, Olivier Ntcham, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Wilfred Nathan Douala, Benjamin Elliot Njongue, Toko-Ekambi, Nkoudou, Vincent Aboubakar, Faris Pemi Moumbgna, François-Régis Mughe, Frank Magri, Leonel Ateba, Clinton Njie
Aside from chasing a place in the last eight, Cameroon are out to avenge their defeat to Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Egypt.
The Indomitable Lions bowed 3-2 to Gernot Rohr’s side in the Round of 16 match, as top scorer Odion Ighalo grabbed a brace, while Alex Iwobi netted the winner.
Notwithstanding their shaky performances so far, coach Rigobert Song appears unruffled stating that is men are raring to go.
“We know what we need to do and where we need to go. We have prepared and remain focused. We started slowly, moving up gradually,” he told Caf website.
“At this stage of the competition, I think there are no more things to look for. In three matches, I no longer have the right to calculate, I have to correct what didn’t work. I will do everything necessary to obtain a positive result.”
For their 15th consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Nigeria have reached the knockout stages. Excluding third-place play-off matches, they have been eliminated in their last two knockout ties (2019 semi-finals, 2021 last 16) after winning four in a row beforehand.
Coach Jose Peseiro is not flattered by the West Africa’s stats advantage over the Cameroonians – hinting that there would be no margin for errors in Abidjan.
“It’s a difficult match. We are in the round of 16 and playing against a great team. We don’t want to concede, we want to score a goal and maintain our lead,” he told the media.
“We expect that history will not repeat itself at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny. Even if the statistics are not for us, we are going to play.
“It is a mission that has been entrusted to us and we are going to try to carry it out. We want to win; we want to stay in this tournament until the end.”
Excluding own goals, each of Cameroon’s last 21 goals at Afcon have been scored by players who were playing their club football in either Saudi Arabia (9) or France (12) at the time of scoring; the last player to do so for a non-French or Saudi club was Yaya Banana in 2019, who was playing in Greece.