Nigeria rekindles rivalry with Cameroon in Round of 16
Nigeria faces another crunch game against old foes, Cameroon in the round of the 16 matches of the on-going African Cup of Nations. The second round match holds on Saturday at the Alexandria Stadium, where the Super Eagles have played all their three matches so far.
The match will kick off by 5.00 p.m. Nigerian time.The fixture was confirmed yesterday when Cameroun could only draw 0-0 with Benin Republic, while Ghana beat Guinea Bissau 2-0, meaning that the Black Stars topped Group F, while Cameroun came second. From the pairings, the second placed team in Group B (Nigeria) will meet the number two side in Group F, which is Cameroun.
In recent meeting, Nigeria has had the upper hand, beating the Indomitable Lions 4-0 at home in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier in Uyo in 2017 and holding the same team to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture.The Eagles also beat defeated Cameroun in the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 2004, as well as in the third place game of the Senegal 1992 edition of the competition.
But the Indomitable Lions have the better head to head result in the African Nations Cup, having beaten Nigeria in the title matches of the 1984, 1988 and 2000 editions of the competition. Nigeria and Cameroun share eight African titles between them with the Indomitable Lions have won five times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017), while Nigeria were champions in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
Saturday’s game will present to some of the young generation of players on both sides the opportunity to join the greats that have passed this route.Some of the stars like Samuel Chukwueze, Samuel Kalu, Ola Aina, Jamiu Collins and Francis Uzoho were not in Gernot Rohr’s team that overcame Cameroun in 2017.
Cameroun also has some new players, as well as coaches in the form Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert. Nigeria and Cameroun have not had the best of forms in this competition, with Nigeria’s 0-2 loss to Madagascar the biggest shocker yet in Egypt. However, forms do not count when these two teams meet as the game is seen as much more than the quest for advancement. A win for either side will go down as part of the folklores in the rivalry between the two neighbouring countries.