We’ll beat Cameroon for ailing Ikeme, Eagles vow
Super Eagles goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who is undergoing medical treatment in London, has charged his teammates to beat the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in today’s 2018 World Cup qualifier in Yaounde.
The 31-year-old shot-stopper was diagnosed with acute leukaemia during a routine medical at English second-tier club Wolverhampton Wanderers three months ago. “We pledged to win this match for Carl,” said Germany-born coach Gernot Rohr after a 4-0 rout of Cameroon in Uyo.
“He is in my thoughts and those of the coaches, players and officials all the time. I believe he will inspire us in Cameroun.”
With Ikeme hospitalised in England and South Africa-based reserve Daniel Akpeyi injured, local Ikechukwu Ezenwa dealt capably with the limited threats from well-policed Cameroon.
Nigeria are sitting pretty in Group B – branded the “group of death” – with a maximum nine points from three matches. Zambia have four, Cameroun two and Algeria, the most impressive African side at the 2014 World cup in Brazil, only one.
Nigeria can become the first African qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia if they triumph in Yaounde and Zambia do not win in Algeria tomorrow. Rohr hopes current and former Chelsea players Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel can replicate the form that helped humiliate Cameroun in Uyo.
“Mikel is our leader and demonstrated that against Cameroon,” Rohr said about Mikel who scored the second goal against the “Indomitable Lions”.
“I was pleasantly surprised because he has played very little football for about six months. His efforts meant a lot to the team.”
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