History, pedigree, current form and turf familiarity are factors weighing heavily in favour of the Super Eagles as they confront the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the Round of 16 at the 34th Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.
Five-time champions Cameroon prosecuted their group phase games in Yamoussoukro, and have now arrived in Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial and industrial capital for Saturday’s potentially-explosive encounter with three-time champions Nigeria.
In effect, Nigeria and Cameroon have clashed in 17 competitive matches since their first of such matches in the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah Cup on 8th December 1962, which Nigeria won 3-1. Of those 17 matches, Cameroon have won only 4 – three of these in the Final matches of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984, 1988 and 2000. The only other time Cameroon have beaten Nigeria in a competitive match was on 27th August 1989, when Francois Omam Biyick scored the only goal in Yaounde that eliminated Nigeria from the race to the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals in Italy.
Nigeria have won nine of the other 13 matches, including a 2-1 defeat of Cameroon in the bronze medal-match of the 1992 AFCON; a 2-0 triumph in a 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Ibadan; a 3-2 win in Yaounde in a 1970 World Cup qualifier; a 2-1 win in Monastir in a 2004 AFCON quarter-final; a 4-0 win in Uyo in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier and; a 3-2 win in Alexandria in a 2019 AFCON Round of 16 clash.
More than the above, the Super Eagles presently boast the Africa Player of the Year in Victor Osimhen, and the Super Eagles have more familiarity with the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, where they pipped Guinea Bissau 1-0 on Monday to make sure of their place in this competition’s Round of 16.
Nigeria have reached the Round of 16 after scooping seven points, unbeaten in their three matches; Cameroon were battered 3-1 by Cup holders Senegal and fought hard to overcome The Gambia in added time to make sure of a place in the knock-out rounds.
As both teams prepare for the big day, thenff.com takes a cursory look at the SEVEN previous clashes involving Nigeria and Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations – the continent’s flagship football championship: