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AFCON 2023: Odegbami, Lawal Task Super Eagles On Discipline Ahead Cameroon Clash

AFCON 2023: Odegbami, Lawal Task Super Eagles On Discipline Ahead Cameroon Clash

Nigeria football legends Olusegun Odegbami and Garba Lawal have advised the Super Eagles to be extremely cautious, stay focused, be disciplined and have self-belief when they step onto the field against the Indomitable Lions in their Africa Cup of Nations’ Round of 16 encounter in Abidjan on Sunday.

Both giants of the African game have made a rendez-vous at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, following the Lions’ late surge that ensured a 3-2 win over The Gambia in Bouake on Tuesday, and Nigeria’s earlier second-place finish in group A behind Equatorial Guinea.

Odegbami, a member of Nigeria’s 1980 AFCON-winning squad and former captain of the team, who also played three times against Cameroon in 1975 (friendly game that Nigeria won 1-0), 1978 (All-Africa Games in Algiers that ended 0-0) and 1980 (friendly game that ended 0-0), said the present crop of Super Eagles can achieve victory the way they did against the Lions at the same stage in Egypt four years ago, but must be extremely diligent and be very clinical with the opportunities that come their way.

“We may say that Cameroon have not pulled up any trees at this tournament, but the way they turned the game around against The Gambia sends a message. They are not to be taken for granted. I watched their game against Guinea and it was a fight-to-finish. We have been creating a lot of opportunities in our games but this time, we have to be clinical.

“Cameroon could prove to be a different proposition from the teams we have played against at this competition. Apart from the rivalry between our two countries, the present generation of Indomitable Lions have a point to prove. They want to be seen in the garbs of the likes of Rigobert Song Bahanang (who is their coach), Samuel Eto’o Fils, Patrick Mboma and Geremi Njitap, and going further back, the likes of Roger Milla, Theophile Abega, Gregoire Mbida and Francois Omam Biyick.”

Read Also:AFCON 2023: Keep Working Hard, Nigerians Behind You — Sports Minister To Super Eagles

Lawal, nicknamed Chindo, played four times against the Lions in 1997 (LG Cup), 2000 (AFCON final), 2003 (LG Cup) and 2004 (AFCON quarter-final). He says that self-belief will go a long way in steering the Eagles past the Lions on Saturday.

“They must go in there believing in themselves to do the job. Self-confidence is a good feeling when approaching a game like this. I see the Super Eagles getting past the Cameroonians if they believe in themselves and keep it tight at the back.”

Nigeria and Cameroon have clashed at the Africa Cup of Nations seven times, with each team winning thrice and one game drawn. Cameroon won the Final matches of the 1984, 1988
and 2000 AFCON tournaments, while the Eagles won the bronze-medal match 2-1 in 1992, defeated then Cup holders Cameroon 2-1 in the 2004 quarter-finals and won 3-2 in the Round of 16 in Egypt four years ago. Both teams drew 1-1 in the group phase in 1988, Samuel Okwaraji scoring a scorcher after only two minutes in Rabat and Roger Milla equalizing with a header when the Andrew Uwe-led Nigerian defence thought they had kept him off-side.

As the Eagles returned to training on Wednesday, after resting on Tuesday, the match venue is also getting ready to welcome the two teams. It was on the same turf where both teams battled out the 1984 AFCON final.

On 18th March 1984, Président Félix Houphouët-Boigny had declared a public holiday to encourage football fans to troop to the stadium for the final, as public interest in the competition had waned following the group stage elimination of the Elephants. Nigeria got in front after 10 minutes when Muda Lawal toe-poked a deflected pull-out past Joseph Antoine-Bell.

The Lions equalized just before half-time, Stephen Keshi unwittingly diverting the ball into his own net from a free-kick, and they seized the game by the throat in the second half, deploying the experience and exposure from playing three matches unbeaten at the 1982 FIFA World Cup finals in Spain. They won 3-1.


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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 16
  • TALK UR OWN 5 months ago

    I PERSONALLY WILL NEVER & NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED IF SUPER EAGLE FAIL TO GO BEYOND 2ND ROUND OR QUARTER FINALS.
    THEIR LAST SEVEN GAMES ARE NOT CONVINCING. AND THAT IS THE REASON WHY WE CELEBRATED FLUKE WIN VIA PENALTY AGAINST CIV. NOT KNOWING THAT A LOWEST TEAM IN FIFA RANKING CAN DEFEAT THEM 4-0.
    ** If the super eagle players like, they should continue to be playing nonsense, The next generation or coming one will not talk about them.
    Who is talking about Aiyegbenni, Osaze, Ejide instead, we will continue to be talking about Yekini, okocha, Amokachi for life

    • Glory 5 months ago

      Only you yourself is not talking about those players. They are celebrated world over. Every country will happily give these lots visa to visit their country. And they dont care an inch if you don’t talk about them as they already KNOW YOUR TALK TO BE ONLY YOUR OWN TO BE LISTENED BY YOU ONLY AND DIGESTED BY YOU ONLY AND POO POO BY YOU ONLY.
      YOUR PROBLEM IS BECAUSE DESSER IS NOT IN THIS TEAM. WE ALL LOVE DESSER AND I CAN GUARANTEES 100 % BETTER THAN YOU. YOU MAY BE SHOCKED THAT DESSERS HAS A RELATIVE ON THIS FORUM BUT HE HASN’T GONE BRAINS BERSERK because he wasn’t invited. So calm down, don’t watch AFCON till your fav players get selected. THERE ARE LOADS OF CARNELS ABOUT. EVERYTIME SE PLAYS, PLEASE SPEND THAT TIME TO BREAK CARNELS. I AM 200% NO ONE CARES ABOUT WHETHER YOU WATCH OR NOT.

    • Sportradio88.0 fm 5 months ago

      The game that was played yesterday morning. Abi . People still waiting for result.

  • Coache 5 months ago

    My only worry is Tokyo Ekambi is back. His pairing in the middle with Anguissa is VERY deadly.

    The only good news is that they don’t have a good striker since Aboubakar is injured. Toko Ekambi how I wish you were a Nigerian

    • Collins 5 months ago

      Aboubakar is back for the game against Nigeria.

    • @Collins serious countries do what cameroon did keep Vincent Aboubekar in the team and have faith you will progress as you are progressing he is healing when the important games comes Knockouts he will be fit. NOt Like Nigeria Replace a La Liga player who has goal of the season contenders (2 of them) long range shots at the a skill Nigeria disgistingly lacks since the days of Okocha, Onazi,Emenike and co, replace him with a player Onuazhu who the coach himself could not call upon him after that Cote Ivoire game because he all saw what we saw. Now we are in the knockouts how many times have he used Onuachu yet a player Nigeria let go is playing La Liga matches 2 already. Between Nigeria and cameroon who have more sense?

  • Glory 5 months ago

    Only you yourself is not talking about those players. They are celebrated world over. Every country will happily give these lots visa to visit their country. And they dont care an inch if you don’t talk about them as they already KNOW YOUR TALK TO BE ONLY YOUR OWN TO BE LISTENED BY YOU ONLY AND DIGESTED BY YOU ONLY AND POO POO BY YOU ONLY.
    YOUR PROBLEM IS BECAUSE DESSER IS NOT IN THIS TEAM. WE ALL LOVE DESSER AND I CAN GUARANTEES 100 % BETTER THAN YOU. YOU MAY BE SHOCKED THAT DESSERS HAS A RELATIVE ON THIS FORUM BUT HE HASN’T GONE BRAINS BERSERK because he wasn’t invited. So calm down, don’t watch AFCON till your fav players get selected. THERE ARE LOADS OF CARNELS ABOUT. EVERYTIME SE PLAYS, PLEASE SPEND THAT TIME TO BREAK CARNELS. I AM 200% NO ONE CARES ABOUT WHETHER YOU WATCH OR NOT.

  • Collins 5 months ago

    Aboubakar is back for against Nigeria.

    • Collins 5 months ago

      For the game against Nigeria I mean

      • And So Meanwhile your Nigeria let go of Sadiq Umar because of a sprained Ankle and are left to Onuachu for a crucial Knock out game while Cameroon smart cameroon have Aboubakr to call upon. Nigeria Peseiro and co Una well done ooooooo clap for una self mumu people!

        No Wahala Peseiro must use that his bench against Cameroon that he stupidly selected for this High profile Tournament. He Must call on his Onuachu and Musa against Cameroon if the game is deadlocked. Yeye De smell

  • Dracula with No Fangs!

    Two Super Eagles alumni in Odegbami and Lawal have urged the Peseiro’s Boys to demonstrate caution, focus, disciplined and self-belief in bringing our neighbouring Lions of Cameroon to heel in the titanic Afcon second round derby this Saturday.

    Whilst the words of wisdom of the two Nigerian football titans cannot be discounted, I think the elephant in the stadium had gone untouched in their statements.

    The biggest obstacle facing the Super Eagles outfit is lack of bite.

    We went to the tournament with arguably the sharpest attacking teeth and fangs in African football at the moment in Africa at the moment but our Draculas have thus far in 3 games failed to draw much blood from their victims.

    Leading up to the tournament, the worry was how the Super Eagles will manage to sink their teeth into opponents in the way of creating chances. Fans bemoaned the lack and shallowness in midfield to feed preys of passes to our goals-thirsty strikers. Well, the passes were delievered but the strikers haven’t been thirty enough to convert preys into victims.

    And this is a problem.

    The not-so-Indomitable Lions of Cameroon already have 4 goals scorer in this tournament in open play compared to Nigeria’s 1, yet we Nigeria are meant to be the unstoppable force with predatory tendencies in attack.

    We are barking but Cameroon are biting and it is the animal with the sharpest claws and most penetrative bite between the Eagle and the Lion that will walk away victorious on Saturday.

    When asked about Super Eagles’ lack of goals-thirtness thus far in the tournament, apparently Calvin Bassey said:”Go and ask the midfielders and attackers because, me, I am defending. I try my own.” That seems to me like Calvin throwing his colleagues under the bus, aftereall in modern football, even goalkeepers have been known to provide assists, let alone defenders.

    Smah George, Secretary, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Nasarawa state chapter said” If we continue like this, being goal shy, not being creative enough and converting our chances even when we have, then I don’t see us going far.”

    And one has to agree with Sam. The Super Eagles have enough in their arsenal to suck Cameroon dry. So much has been written and said to death about formation but now it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net.

    If this chances-created to chances-converted ratio can be addressed by the vampires we put in front, then Cameroon will fall like the prey they have often been to the Super Eagles at this stage of the competition.

    • Is it not too late in the day to bother about the fangless dracula of the eagles?

      The signs have been there for the past months even in the qualifiers for this tournament. Only Sao tome was taken to the gallows.

      For how long will you maintain misfiring arsenal in battle?

      We are a nation of diverse miracles. Someone said Peserio had not been with this team for one week before. This is day 25, still no impact.

      25m each received is a good one. Anything more is a miracle because in March, we will still delude ourselves by calling 600 strikers and 4 midfielders. Doing the same thing and expecting something different

      • Glory 5 months ago

        Still no impact and the is in the second round. You must be a dreamer brodaman. Senegalese last AFCON struggled for impact all through the preliminary while we impacted solidly during the preliminary to be packed out in the second round. But the Senegal team went on to win.
        You are not smart enough to come to me in twisted form. I read between lines and I can tell for a fact you are fighting a personal issue albeit you have lost it massively and shamefully.

        • @Glory leave that guy to his believe , SE will make him eat his word soon.

    • Sylvester,

      It’s not too late because we are still in the tournament. Remember, some fans didn’t even expect us to get this far.

      I think we have enough – even with our goal scoring headache – to get a favourable result on Saturday.

      Good luck to the team.

  • Ndubest 5 months ago

    We will win on Saturday our strikers will deliver. Lets me here after the match.

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