The city of Alexandria is already feeling the vibration ahead of Saturday’s epic showdown between the Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. It is one of the round of 16 fixtures in the Egypt 2019 Afcon, which could have been avoided if Nigeria had picked a draw in their last group match against Madagascar.
Thousands of Cameroonian fans and supporters, waving flags and banners arrived in Alexandria yesterday afternoon boasting that Saturday’s clash will be the end of the road for the Super Eagles in the competition.
There was mild drama in one of the hotels located in the center of Alexandria yesterday when some Cameroon fans thought some Guineans there were Nigerians.
“It will be the end of the road for your country on Saturday. The Lions will roast your Super Eagles for dinner. Get ready to return to Nigeria,” were some of the words the Cameroonians poured at the Guineans before they realized they were not Nigerians.
One of them, however, said the clash between the two countries is coming too early in the competition. “It means one of the two teams will not get to the quarterfinal in this Afcon, and that is not good enough for the competition.
“I was actually looking forward to see Cameroon and Nigeria meet in the semifinal, which would have been better than this round of 16 fixture. These are two big teams in African football and meeting at this stage is not good.”
Going by results of their head- to- head clashes in recent times, the Super Eagles have advantage over the Indomitable Lions, though Cameroon are the defending champions in the Afcon.
Since losing on penalties to Cameroon in the final of Ghana/Nigeria 2000 edition of the African Nations Cup at the National Stadium in Lagos, the Super Eagles have not lost to the Lions.
In 2004, Nigeria won 2-1 and recorded a 3-0 win in 2015. They met twice in 2017 with the Super Eagles having the upper hands, first with a 4-0 victory before a 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile, Cameroon coach, Clarence Seedorf is worried about his team’s blunt strike force ahead of Saturday’s match against Nigeria.
Like the Super Eagles, the Indomitable Lions netted only two goals in the group stages but they have a better defensive record than the West Africans, with the highly-rated Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper, André Onana yet to concede in the tournament.
Clinton N’Jie (Marseille), Stéphane Bahoken (Angers), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (PSG), Karl Toko Ekambi (Villarreal), Joel Tagueu (Portugal Marítimo) and Jacques Zoua (Astra Giurgiu) are the players classed as strikers in the Cameroun squad.
“I do not think of Nigeria (opponent in the round of 16), we just finished the match, I am very happy because we qualified, but we were disappointed because we wanted to win the match, we completely controlled this match,’’ Seedorf was quoted as saying by France Football.
“We have to improve in several details, especially in attack, we have to be smarter to create more opportunities, we have not conceded a goal yet, there are positive things for the future. ‘’