Super Eagles learn AFCON 2023 Round of 16 foes

Super Eagles learn AFCON 2023 Round of 16 foes
Photo by Icon Sport

On the second day of AFCON, 2023 final group stage matches with the Super Eagles heavily invested, it was filled with suspense and drama as the Round of 16 foes of the Nigerian side kept oscillating.

Following a 1-0 win over Ivory Coast, Nigeria completed its business on Monday when it secured a 1-0 victory over the Djurtus of Guinea Bissau to book a place in the second round.

Despite the victory, they finished second behind a rampant Equatorial Guinea side that had scored four goals in two consecutive matches, with the second a 4-0 win over the hosts Ivory Coast.

After a suspense-filled evening, the indomitable Lions of Cameroon emerged as the Round of 16 opponents of the Super Eagles with a 3-2 win over Gambia.

How Cameroon emerged as Super Eagles foes

Super Eagles to take on Cameroon in Round of 16
Photo by Icon Sport

Going into the final day of Group C matches, Senegal was top of the table, but a loss to Guinea could see them finish second and a date with the Super Eagles.

Cameroon also had a chance of finishing above Guinea if they beat Gambia, and Senegal defeated Guinea by at least two goals.

Everything looked set for a Nigeria vs Guinea clash to rehash their pre-tournament friendly until the game's final ten minutes.

The drama started when Gambia took a 2-1 lead against Cameroon to move into third in the group.

The Indomitable Lions had been docile since the beginning of the tournament, but the five-time champions roared back to life when they got an 87th-minute equalizer.

It wasn't enough to put Cameroon in second place or get a ticket to the second round.

The scales finally tipped in favour of the Indomitable Lions to set up a date with the Super Eagles on Saturday, when they moved into the lead with a third goal a minute into added time,e and Senegal got its second goal against Guinea.

With Senegal leading 2-0 and Cameroon 3-2, the Indomitable Lions moved into second place and will now play the Super Eagles in the Round of 16 on Saturday.

Super Eagles vs Cameroon – What to expect

Super Eagles prepare for Cameroon
Photo by Icon Sport

The Super Eagles are no strangers to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, but the Cameroon side that had greats like Samuel Eto and coached by a legend – Rigobert Song, have not been at the peak of their powers.

The Super Eagles have a decent record against Cameroon in recent competitive outings.

The last time Cameroon beat Nigeria was in a friendly in 2021. It is also worth noting that the Super Eagles have never lost an AFCON game to Cameroon that was not the final.

They have met three times in AFCON knockout rounds, with the Super Eagles winning them all.

At AFCON 92, Nigeria won 2-1, 2-1 in 2004 and 3-2 in 2019. It will make for an interesting watch as old rivalries are rekindled.

Peseiro has his hands full and must find answers to a strike force that has been misfiring. One consolation the Super Eagles can take into the game is their defence, which has conceded only one goal from three matches.

However, the Indomitable Lions have conceded six goals, showing a lax defence.

This article was most recently revised and updated 6 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).