Nigeria coach José Peseiro says the Super Eagles are aiming for victory against Cameroon in their Africa Cup of Nations round-of-16 clash on Saturday (today), 9pm (Nigerian time).
Nigeria vs Cameroon will be played at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, where Cameroon beat Nigeria in the 1984 AFCON final.
But Peseiro, who is unfazed by the history, noted, “It’s a difficult match, but we want to win and stay in this tournament until the end,” he declared.
Nigeria finished second in Group A unbeaten after a 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea during their first outing. The Super Eagles further won Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 before getting the same result over Guinea-Bissau to secure their ticket
Cameroon, on the other hand, finished second in Group C after a 1-1 draw to Guinea, losing 3-1 to Senegal, and winning a hard-fought 3-2 comeback over The Gambia.
The teams have eight AFCON titles between them, with Cameroon having five and Nigeria having three. However, in recent meetings of Nigeria vs Cameroon, the Super Eagles have been dominant.
Nigeria claimed victory during the quarterfinals of the 2004 edition played in Tunisia, and a round-of-16 win during the 2019 showpiece in Egypt.
“We don’t want to concede; we want to score a goal and maintain our lead. We expect that history will not repeat itself at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
“Even if the statistics are not for us, we are going to play. It is a mission that has been entrusted to us, and we are going to try to carry it out. We want to win; we want to stay in this tournament until the end,” Peseiro said.
Nigerian winger Moses Simon said the team had improved since beating Cameroon in 2019. “We feel good. We take the matches one after the other, and we hope to do like in the previous matches.
“In 2019, we played against Cameroon; we know they are strong, and I think today they are better than in 2019, and we also improved as well. We know their weak points, and so we will take the match as it comes,” he noted.
Cameroon coach Rigobert Song said his team is focused and ready. “We know what we need to do and where we need to go. We have prepared and remain focused. We started slowly, moving up gradually. At this stage of the competition, I think there are no more things to look for.
“In three matches, I no longer have the right to calculate; I have to correct what didn’t work. I will do everything necessary to obtain a positive result,” he stated.
Striker Faris Moumbagna promised a 200% effort. “We prepared well, the atmosphere is good in the group. We are going to stay in the same state of mind and continue to give the best of us.
“We are going to approach this match with 200% effort. We are going to give everything on the pitch, like we did against Gambia; we are not going to give up,” he said.
The winner of the West African clash will advance to the quarterfinals. Both teams are seeking to add to their AFCON trophy tallies, with Nigeria eyeing a 4th title and Cameroon looking for a 6th.