Every football match between Cameroon and Nigeria, regardless of the level of competition, consistently meets the high standards of fans worldwide. The rivalry between the two teams at the Africa Cup of Nations dates back to the 1980s. In the competition’s history, the teams have faced off seven times, with three victories apiece and one tie.
When Cameroon and Nigeria co-hosted the match 24 years ago, it was the last time the West African powerhouses overcame the Lions. That was in 2019.
The main storyline leading up to the game concerned Andre Onana, who was benched for Cameroon’s pivotal Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group-stage match against Gambia.
After playing for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur the day before, Onana arrived late to the tournament and missed his country’s inaugural AFCON match against Guinea on January 15. The goalie then started Cameroon’s second game against Senegal, in which he let up three goals.
Here are the five talking points;
(1) Jose Peseiro:
The majority of Nigerians have taken issue with the Super Eagles’ coach because of the manner he arranges his team for each game they play. Nonetheless, the Portuguese international has continued to play a five-man defense, which has proven effective for the team thus far in the competition and offers the West African powerhouses flexibility in attacking and defending.
(2) Ademola Lookman:
From the first game against Equatorial Guinea to the match against the Indomitable Lions, Lookman has demonstrated his value to this Super Eagles squad. The winger took advantage of a mistake committed by the Cameroonian defense to score the game’s opening goal. In the ninetieth minute, he increased the Super Eagles’ lead when he converted a pass from Calvin Bassey that came from outside the penalty area. He will play a major role in the Super Eagles’ victory if they win this competition.
(3) Stanley Nwabali:
The goalkeeper, who is based in South Africa, was stretchered from the field following a collision with a Cameroonian player. In both the minutes he played before leaving the game and in goal for the Super Eagles during the group stage, he has excelled. Nigerians will be hoping he returns to full fitness before their quarterfinal matchup with Angola.
(4) Watertight defence:
With one of the finest defense records at the AFCON 2023, the Super Eagles are led by Ola Aina and William Troost Ekong, who play critical defensive roles for the team. The players’ brilliant performances against the Indomitable Lions will be crucial for the team’s success moving on in the competition.
The Super Eagles will play Angola in the competition’s quarterfinal, which ought to be a piece of cake. As a result, they can already start to consider a semifinal position.