SPORT: Africa World Cup Qualifier: Tackling a confident and energized Lion

Cameroon celebrates being crowned Champions during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 05 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix


By George Onmonya Daniel


Beating the Lions of Cameroon will mean Nigeria will have nine points and an automatic qualification to Russian 2018 World Cup. With nine points there is no stopping the Super Eagles.

Before the African Nations Cup, it looked quite easy. The Lions of Cameroon were not one of the best teams in Africa and they were not even fantastic, but Cameroon who were not the favourite to win the African Nations Cup stunned everyone by going ahead to muscle their opponents in the tournament and winning the trophy.

Everything changed from then and now Nigeria is playing a better and confident opponent. A rival who derives joy at beating Nigeria is a rivalry that has always been the trademark between the two countries.

With 6 points in two matches, Cameroon has 2 points in two matches, a win will be the perfect victory that ensures Nigeria’s Super Eagle’s place in the World Cup, but a draw, sharing a point with Cameroon wouldn’t be a bad idea. Cameroon’s only chance now is beating Nigeria, even a draw isn’t good enough.

It is quite a tough group and if they lose against Nigeria they may as well kiss the World Cup goodbye. That’s why this match in August is going to be quite interesting, perhaps the most interesting you would see on this group.

Cameroon hasn’t done too badly; they went to Algeria and got a draw but couldn’t beat Zambia in Cameroon. On 27th August, 2017, they will be facing Nigeria at home and beating Nigeria at home for the African champion will not be easy. But to survive and still be in the game Cameroon has to win or at least get a draw. For Nigeria the task will be beating Cameroon as they are going back for a return match in Cameroon just a week after the encounter in Nigeria.

Cameroon will want to show that they are the Champions of Africa and a tough nut to crack. They have always been a tough nut to crack. But with a new coach and a positive team that have won two of their matches and are topping the group and really have everything to prove after not making it to the African Nations Cup, Nigeria will not be bothered about the Lions of Cameroon new status, but beating them and making it to Russia with love. MA