CAMEROON ARE USING THE NATIONS CUP AS WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS TRIAL RUN
That Cameroon defeated heavy favourites, Senegal at
the on-going Africa Cup of Nations, to advance to the Semi Finals, should not
be enough reason for any supporter of the Super Eagles to panic. But given the similarities between the Nigeria Super
Eagles and the Teranga Lions, any one with foresight should look at the upcoming
double-clash in August, and try to fathom what might be going through the mind
of Hugo Broos, the coach of the Lions. Senegal
were heavy odds-on favourites to defeat Cameroon, Nigeria will be too. The
form of the Super Eagles in the World Cup qualifiers has got Africa talking. No
team wants to face Nigeria now. Just as nobody wanted to face the
ultra-talented Senegalese at the Nations Cup. But the Lions confidently stared them down. The
Cameroonians arrived at the stadium singing and dancing, then went on to execute
a near perfect game-plan. These Cameroonians will not be afraid of the Eagles, we
must show them respect, then beat them!
Lions and the Eagles have similar players. Yep, one of the
exciting things about the current Eagles is the strength at almost every
position. That is what the Senegalese also have; for every player we hold in
high esteem, the Lions have someone similar. The
doppelgangers in the two teams are:Keita Balde is magical on the wings, just like
Victor Moses. Gana Gueye is Mikel Mark II, but he was actually more effective
than Mikel in the Premiership last season, and is playing great for Everton
this season. Saido Mane and Alex Iwobi will play the same positions with
similar result; Mame Biram Diouf may not have the skills of Iheanacho, but his goal
scoring record is proven; in France, they call Henri Saviet ‘the new Thierry
Henry’ even though he plays as a midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo anyone?
Oh, and Senegal had Kalidou Koulibaly in defence.
came with a clear game plan and earned their victory. They
knew if they stood toe-to-toe with Senegal, they will lose. They simply
conceded possession to the more skilful Senegalese and calmly waited for
counter-attacking chances. It almost worked. For the Eagles, all they will do is play the same way
and hold out for the same result, or try and steal all three points. Then, they
will go all out for a victory in Yaounde, or wherever their fancy carries them
on their patch.
It is critical that the Eagles get three of the six
points available in that encounter, anything less than that will open the door
for another team to harass the current Group B leaders. The confidence of the Lions has taken a shot in the arm with the victory over Senegal, and should they win the Nations Cup, the Super Eagles must be doubly-ready for a titanic battle when the Lions land.