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Nothing to fear about Lions, Eagles assure Nigerians

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Cameroon players react at the end of the the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group F football match between Cameroon and Ghana at the Ismailia Stadium on June 29, 2019. OZAN KOSE / AFP

• Omens are right, says Rohr
Players and officials of the Super Eagles have asked Nigerians not to panic ahead of tomorrow’s match against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. It is a round of 16 match between the Super Eagles and the Indomitable Lions at the Alexandria Stadium in the on-going Egypt 2019 African Cup of Nations. Cameroun are the defending champions.
 
The emergence of the Indomitable Lions as Nigeria’s opponent has sent fear into the minds of many Nigerian fans and supporters, considering the not-too-impressive manner the Eagles have performed since the beginning of the competition.
 
But players and officials of the Super Eagles told Nigerians yesterday that there was nothing to worry about the Lions. “It is a big match no doubt, but the players are confident of overcoming the Cameroonians at the end of the match, team media officer, Toyin Ibitoye told The Guardian at the team’s Helnan Palestine hotel in Alexandria yesterday.
 
“The players are calm, and they are fully ready for the Lions. We know Cameroon are the defending champions, but for a long time, the Super Eagles have had good results against them. Saturday’s match is not going to be different. We are sure of getting the result that will take us to the quarterfinal,” he stated.
 
The Eagles had a closed-door training session yesterday evening, but The Guardian learnt that apart from captain, John Obi Mikel, who is still nursing an injury, and Shehu Abdullahi, who is doubtful, all other players were in good condition for the match against Cameroon tomorrow. Jamilu Collins, who was unfit for the last group match against Madagascar last Sunday may be available tomorrow.

Looking ahead to the intriguing match, Coach Gernot Rohr highlighted that the Super Eagles have one advantage over the defending champions.

“We have this little advantage that they played on Tuesday and we played on Sunday, so let us try to have an advantage physically and also mentally because everybody wants to do very well now,” Rohr told the Super Eagles Media team.

Rohr believes all the omens point to another Nigerian win as they thrashed Cameroon in their next game after losing 2-0 to South Africa in 2017.

“There is something similar, we lost 2-0 at home to South Africa and then there was a Cameroon game. Now we lost against Madagascar 2-0 and it is again Cameroon, so it can be a good omen, I hope so.

“Everybody wants to do well especially after this disappointment against Madagascar, we changed the team, we wanted to play with some other players to keep them in the rhythm of the competition.

“Now the best team has to start and to do the best to make Nigerians proud.”


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