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We can beat anyone in Africa – Mikel

Nigeria is capable of beating any team in Africa following their 4-0 destruction of Cameroon, according to team captain John Obi Mikel.

The Super Eagles handed the reigning African champions a football lesson in their 2018 World Cup qualifying clash in Uyo, with Odion Ighalo, Mikel, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho all finding the back of the net.

The result leaves Nigeria on the cusp of qualifying for the 2018 finals. One more win from their remaining three Group B matches will probably be enough for Gernot Rohr’s side to book a flight to Russia.

“We have a very young team, obviously I have been here for a long time and now I am the captain of the team,” said a proud Mikel at the post-match press conference.

“I feel I have responsibility every time I step on the pitch to play. This team needs experience, this team needs guidance. The players are very good players, quick players.

”Sometimes they need someone they listen to, someone who can direct them to make sure we have balance and know exactly what we are doing and that’s what we did today.”

 


Our World Cup hopes gone – Cameroon Coach

Cameroon no longer has a realistic chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, according to Coach Hugo Broos.

The Indomitable Lions, who have appeared at seven World Cup tournaments, suffered a heavy 4-0 loss at the hands of Nigeria in their Group B qualifier in Uyo on Friday evening.

The result left Cameroon a full seven points adrift of group leaders Nigeria, who are the clear favourites to secure a place in the Russia 2018 field.

The Indomitable Lions will host Nigeria for the return game in Yaounde on Monday evening, but Broos sees the match as having nothing more than pride at stake.

“There is no pressure anymore on Monday, Nigeria have nine points, we have two points,” Broos explained.

“But there is only an honour to defend, there is no importance to this. I just hope my players will have the same mentality that I have – that they will fight on Monday till the last minute – to beat Nigeria.

“If we had won this game, we would have a chance, but we lost it and I hope everyone will learn from this.”

 


Moting doubtful for 2nd leg over injury

Stoke City forward, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is a major doubt for Cameroon ahead of Monday’s 2018 World Cup matchday four qualifier against the Super Eagles in Yaounde.

The 2017 AFCON star sat out of his team’s training on Saturday due to an hamstring injury he sustained during the defeat to Nigeria and it remains to be seen if he will take part in their final session on Sunday.

Choupo-Moting was subbed on at half time for Moumi Ngamaleu in the Indomitable Lions’ shambolic performance in Uyo which saw them lose 4-0 to Nigeria, but the former Schalke 04 player was replaced by Arnaud Djoum 13 minutes later.

 


Esin: Eagles must defy hostile reception in Yaounde‎

Former Nigeria international Etim Esin has warned the Super Eagles not to expect the best of reception from Cameroon in the reverse fixture of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers doube-header in Yaounde on Monday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

In the first leg played on Friday in Uyo, goals from Odion Ighalo, John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho, secured an emphatic 4-0 win against the African champions.

Recollecting the events that took place in the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifier second leg in Yaounde, Esin who was in action for the Eagles that lost 1-0 to a Francois Oman-Biyik goal, he said:”The Eagles should not expect the best of receptions because the Cameroonians would do everything to beat us in Yaounde,” Esin told completesportsnigeria.com.

“I remember when we played them in 1989, right from the airport to the match day, there was nothing like friendliness from the Cameroonians. Eventually they won which knocked us out of the 1990 World Cup in Italy.”

The 1987 Flying Eagles U-20 World Cup star however stated that with the kind of performance Super Eagles put up on Friday, the team can come back with a positive result.

“But with what the players did on Friday, if they galvanise themselves, at least, they can get a draw.”

And reflecting on the 4-0 win against the five-time African winners, Esin attributed it to unity in the squad.

He said:”Team work and team spirit really worked for the team. And the selection was on merit. The Chinese-based players proved that even though they are not in Europe, are still important to the team.

“Looking at the depth of the squad, if people like (Kelechi) Iheanacho and (Ahmed) Musa can come from the bench that means we have a good squad.

“Ighalo’s goal was very vital because if the first half had ended goalless, it would have given the Cameroonians confidence going into the second half.”

 


FIXTURES

Cameroon           v              Nigeria

Libya                      v              Guinea

Congo                   v              Ghana

South Africa       v              Cape Verde

DR Congo            v              Tunisia

Cote d’Ivoire      v              Gabon

Burkina Faso      v              Senegal

Egypt                     v              Uganda

Mali                       v              Morocco

Algeria                  v              Zambia

 

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