*Says Eagles will be mentally ready
Super Eagles forward, Odion Jude Ighalo has declared war on defending champions Cameroon ahead of their Round of 16 clash at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, AOIFootball.com reports.
The former Watford of England forward, who made a meal of the Lions the last time both nations clashed during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, stated that the players are ready to regain the trust of Nigerians with a convincing win after an abysmal outing against debutants Madagascar last Saturday.
“Now we know where our focus lies. Cameroon won’t be an easy opponent because they are the defending champions. We saw their fame against Benin Republic and I believe we have all it takes to knock them out.
“We played them during the qualifiers for the World Cup and we performed excellently so I am confident we can repeat the same feat on Saturday,” Ighalo said confidently.
The Shanghai Shenhua forward further praised Nigerian fans for being resolute in their support to see the nation succeed, assuring that the players are also working hard to make millions of Nigerians happy.
Cameroon defeated Nigeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984, 1988 and 2000, but most painful for the Super Eagles was the agonizing penalty shoot-out loss in front of their home fans at the National Stadium, Lagos on 13th February 2000.
In 2004, Jay Jay Okocha spearheaded a sweet 2-1 defeat of then defending champions Cameroon in a quarterfinal match at the Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet in Monastir, Tunisia and in the 2018 FIFA World Cup African qualifying series, the Super Eagles thumped the Lions 4-0 in Uyo and were forced to a 1-1 draw in Yaounde.
Nigeria and Cameroon share eight African titles between them. While the Indomitable Lions have won five times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017), Nigeria were champions in 1980, 1994 and 2013.