The Super Eagles of Nigeria are expected to up their game as they come face to face with the Africa Cup of Nations’ defending champions, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Saturday.
This is the titanic fixture the last battles of Group F threw up when Cameroon were held to a goalless draw by Nigeria’s western neighbours and Ghana pummelled Guinea Bissau to snatch the headshio of the group.
Cameroon defeated Nigeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984, 1988 and 2000, but most painful for the Super Eagles was that agonizing penalty shoot-out loss in front of home fans at the National Stadium, Lagos on 13th February 2000.
In 2004, Jay Jay Okocha spearheaded a sweet 2-1 defeat of then Cup holders (as they are now) Cameroon in a quarter final match at the Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet in Monastir, Tunisia and in the 2018 FIFA World Cup African qualifying series, the Super Eagles lashed the Lions 4-0 in Uyo and were forced to a 1-1 draw in Yaounde.
Nigeria and Cameroon share eight African titles between them. While the Indomitable Lions have won five times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017), Nigeria were champions in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
Saturday’s game is indeed a titanic battle, and the Super Eagles would be expected to pick themselves up from Sunday’s stunning defeat by Madagascar and battle the bitter rivals the way they should.