Indomitable Lions halt Eagles’ unbeaten run
• Win 1-0 In Austria
A 36th minute strike by relegated Fulham striker, Anguissa Zambo, was all the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon needed to beat their African rival, Super Eagles of Nigeria in an international friendly match played at Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Austria yesterday.
The defeat, which was the first for the Lions in their last four games dented Nigeria’s unbeaten run.Two years ago at Egypt 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Lions were on their way to the quarterfinal after scoring two quick goals in Alexandre, but the Super Eagles came from behind to knock them out with a 3-2 win.
But the game in Austria yesterday saw the Nigerians putting their foot wrong with poor string of passes and lack of coordination.
Moses Simon came close to giving Nigeria the equalising the goal in the second half, but his shot from 25m was parried to corner by the Cameroonian goalie Omatsola. Paul Onuachu also missed an opportunity as the Eagles tried to gain control late in the second half of the match.
Some Nigerian fans who watched the match faulted Gernot Rohr’s style of giving ‘established’ players like Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi, William Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Chidozie Awaziem and Oghenekaro Etebo longer period instead of testing his younger players since it was a mere friendly match.
In all, Nigeria and Cameroon have met 23 times with the Eagles winning 11 times against the Lions’ five. Seven of their matches had ended in a draw.
The Eagles were unbeaten in five matches before yesterday’s international friendly game against the Indomitable Lions. The three-time African champions have not lost a match since they were edged out by an odd goal against Algeria in an international friendly also played in Austria in October 2020.
Since then, they have drawn 1-1 with Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in a friendly match; drawn 4-4 and 0-0 with Sierra Leone in back-to-back 2021 AFCON qualifying matches in November 2020; defeated Benin Republic 1-0 in Porto Novo in another 2021 AFCON qualifier and; walloped Lesotho 3-0 in the finale to the 2021 AFCON qualifying race in Lagos.
The two teams will continue their fierce rival in a second game also at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Vienna on Tuesday.