It will be a renewal of an intense rivalry between neighbours Nigeria and Cameroon in the round of 16 of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after both sides finished second in their respective groups.
Nigeria had suffered a shock 0-2 loss to debutants Madagascar on Sunday, giving up top spot in Group B to the Barea and were waiting for the second placed team in Group F as their second round opponents.
Nigeria’s regional rivals Ghana were occupying the second spot in that group before the final round of matches on Tuesday but after the Black Stars spanked Guinea-Bissau 2-0 – their first win of the tournament – Cameroon fluffed their lines.
The Indomitable Lions, coached by Clarence Seedorf could only play out a 0-0 draw with the Squirrels of Benin, a result which ensured the passage of both sides to the round of 16.
While the Beninoise will be the happier for reaching the knockout stage for the first time in their history, the Cameroonians will be “angry” that they could not prevent an early meeting with one of the tournament’s top guns.
Cameroon have not defeated Nigeria in any of their past five meetings and both sides will face on Saturday at the Alexandria Stadium, where the Nigerians have played all their group games.