The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be keen on achieving a 12th win over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon when the two square off at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Friday.
In 19 previous encounters, Nigeria have been winners 11 times, with Cameroon winning four times and four matches drawn.
Of these games, three happened to be the Final matches of the Africa Cup of Nations (all won by Cameroon, including a nail –biting penalty shoot-out session in Lagos in February 2000), and there were two different fixtures of FIFA World Cup qualifiers (1968 and 1989) shared equally.
Nigeria eliminated Cameroon from the qualifying race for 1970 World Cup finals, winning 3-2 in Douala after a 1-1 draw in Lagos. But the Lions took their revenge in 1989, snatching the minimum win they needed in Yaounde (1-0) to kick the Eagles out of the race for Italia ’90, only two weeks after Sam Okwaraji’s death.
While Cameroonians treasure the wins in Abidjan (1984), Casablanca (1988) and Lagos (2000) that gave them three of their five African titles, Nigerians have sweet memories of a 2-0 defeat of the Lions in Ibadan (in 1989) and a gutsy 2-1 win over Cup holders Cameroon in the quarter finals of 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in the sunshine of Monastir.
When the two teams last clashed, at the Edmond Machtens Stadium in Brussels in October 2015, the Eagles ran away 3-0 winners. Efe Ambrose rose highest in the Lions’ box to nod home a Mikel John Obi free –kick, before Moses Simon rounded the goalkeeper for the second goal and Odion Ighalo headed the third after a splendid pull –out by Elderson Echiejile.
Mikel Obi, Simon, Ighalo and Echiejile are in the Nigerian squad that will seek a repeat scoreline on Friday.
NIGERIA & CAMEROON AT SENIOR LEVEL
8 Dec 1962: Nigeria 3 Cameroon 1 – Lagos (Nkrumah Cup)
1 Jan 1963: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Yaounde (Nkrumah Cup)
7 Dec 1968: Nigeria 1 Cameroon 1 – Lagos (World Cup Qualifier)
22 Dec 1968: Cameroon 2 Nigeria 3 – Douala (World Cup Qualifier)
13 Feb 1972: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Yaounde (Friendly)
22 Jan 1975: Nigeria 1 Cameroon 0 – Lagos (Friendly)
17 July 1978: Cameroon 0 Nigeria 0 – Algiers (All-Africa Games)
2 Feb 1980: Nigeria 0 Cameroon 0 – Ibadan – (Friendly)
18 Mar 1984: Cameroon 3 Nigeria 1 – Abidjan (ACN Final)
17 Mar 1988: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 1 – Rabat (ACN – group phase)
27 Mar 1988: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 0 – Casablanca (ACN Final)
10 Jun 1989: Nigeria 2 Cameroon 0 – Ibadan (World Cup Qualifier)
27 Aug 1989: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 0 – Yaounde (World Cup Qualifier)
25 Jan 1992: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Dakar (ACN – Bronze medal game)
7 Aug 1997: Cameroon 0 Nigeria 1 – Tunis (LG Cup)
13 Feb 2000: Nigeria 2 Cameroon 2 (3-4 penalties) – Lagos (ACN Final)
1 Jun 2003: Nigeria 3 Cameroon 0 – Lagos (LG Cup)
8 Feb 2004: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 2 – Monastir (ACN – group phase)
11 Oct 2015: Nigeria 3 Cameroon 0 – Brussels (Friendly)
Referee assessor in, other match officials to arrive Wednesday
Zimbabwean Brighton Mudzamiri, who will be referee assessor in Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Cameroon in Uyo, is already in the country.
Thenff.com learnt on Tuesday that other match officials, to be led by Referee Ibrahim Ghead Grisha, will arrive in Nigeria on Wednesday.
Grisha will take charge at the centre, while Moroccan official Redouane Achik will serve as Assistant Referee 1 and Sudanese Waleed Ahmed Ali will be Assistant Referee 2.
Grisha’s compatriot, Mahmoud Zakaria Mohamed El Banna will serve as Reserve Referee.
Mr. Jean Medard Kossa, from Congo Brazzaville will be match commissioner.