Five reasons why Nigeria will beat Cameroon

Crunch knockout games never came bigger than a choice clash between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

The thing is that the current Super Eagles are not in the mould of the team that had Christian Chukwu, Muda Lawal, Stephen Keshi, Henry Nwosu and even Jay Jay Okocha or Mikel Obi. The Super Eagles have not been super, at least, not in the past 8 years.

The same can be said of Cameroon when you look at players like Emmanuel Kunde, Kana Biyick, Theophile Abega, Oman Biyick, and Samuel Eto’o Fils who played in the past. These days, the group that wears the jersey are a bunch of jokers who are anything but Indomitable.

So, it is a clash of two former greats, with Nigeria having the slight edge to go through, but why?

It is not a Cup final

Nigeria and Nigerians still suffer PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because of what the Cameroonians did to us in three Cup finals at the AFCON within sixteen years. In 1984, they beat a team led by Stephen Keshi 3-1 in the final in Abidjan, even after Muda Lawal scored first. A team of Theophile Abega, Roger Milla, M’bida, Ebongue and Ndjonkep overran the Eagles to triumph on the day.

In 1988, another Nigerian team led by Stephen Keshi, and with the likes of Henry Nwosu, Humphrey Edobor, Sam Okwaraji etc lost 1-0 to a Cameroonian side captained by Emmanuel Kunde and with the likes of Kan Biyick, Roger Milla and Cyrille Makanacky.

Again in 2000, right there in Lagos after ending the game 2-2, Nigeria lost on penalties to Cameroon.

The truth, however, is that Nigeria only lost to Cameroon in the Cup finals. This is not a Cup final. Tehehe!

Besides, that term is no longer PTSD, but now PTSS. PTSD occurs less than thirty days after experiencing the traumatic event, while PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) is a lifetime of emotional pain

It is a knockout stage match

Cameroon may have triumphed over Nigeria every time the two sides met at the Cup finals in the AFCON, but the story is very different at other stages of the competition.

In 1992, Friday Ekpo and Rashidi Yekini scored to ensure Nigeria beat Cameroon 2-1 to clinch the bronze medal at the AFCON in Senegal.

In 2004 at the AFCON in Tunisia, Nigeria met Cameroon at the first knockout stage, or Quater finals, as it was known then. Austin Okocha and John Utaka scored to ensure Nigeria won 2-1 after Samuel Eto’o had put Cameroon ahead.

Odion Ighalo got a brace and Alex Iwobi scored to see Nigeria edge out Cameroon in the Round of 16 in 2019. Nigeria won 3-2.

So, with this being a knockout stage match, the universe may be on Nigeria’s side.

The Cameroonians have no idea what they are doing at this AFCON

The Cameroonian team at the current AFCON have no idea what they are doing or why they are in Abidjan. They run around like headless chickens, not sure what the idea behind the football they are playing is.

The neutrals have had more fun bantering their goalkeeper, Andre Onana than talking about any other thing in the team.

Just maybe, the return of Vincent Aboubakar will add more life to the team, but aside from that, this team should not be in the knock-out stage of the AFCON.

Nigeria has a coach with a pretty decent head on his shoulders

Jose Peseiro has shown that he has a pretty decent head on his shoulders.

The team has not been scoring goals aplenty like during the qualifiers, but they have not been conceding either.

For a team whose weakest points were its goalkeeping and defensive positions, two clean sheets out of three games is massive.

Nigeria’s edge against Cameroon may be how resilient the defense is on Saturday.

We are Nigeria! We always believe we will win

And if there was any doubt that an article written by a Nigerian would say anything different, this is to clear it.

As Nigerians, we always believe that Nigeria will win every game. Thankfully, things have not gotten as bad as it went during the last year of the former coach, Gernot Rohr’s era where a few Nigerians lost all interest in the team.

This Super Eagles team should triumph over the Cameroonians and go all the way to at least the semi-final.

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