African football powerhouses Nigeria and Cameroon are set for an international friendly encounter slated for June 4, at the Weiner Neustadt Stadium in Vienna, Austria.
Super Eagles Camp: Rohr selects Leicester duo, alongside Napoli, Crotone and Genk poachers in 24-man squad for international friendly
The Nigerian Football Federation have officially announced head coach Gernot Rohr’s 24-man roaster ahead of the game, with some high profile omissions, including Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, Rangers duo of Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo, FC Porto left back Zaidu Sanusi, and the experienced CD Leganes defender Kenneth Omeruo.
While it is understandable for Chukwueze, whose Villarreal take on Manchester United in the Europa League final barely a week before Nigeria’s game against Cameroon, the other omissions have raised a few eyebrows among fans and enthusiasts of the Super Eagles.
Team captain Ahmed Musa, on the back of signing for boyhood club Kano Pillars, is called up alongside deputy captain William Troost-Ekong, whose Watford will play topflight football in England next season, having earned automatic promotion from the Championship to the Premier League.
Musa is joined by fellow Nigerian-based attacker Anayo Iwuala and goalkeeper John Noble, both of Enyimba International FC.
Belgian Jupiler League leading scorer and Best Player Of The Year, Paul Onuachu, the in form Kelechi Iheanacho, alongside Leicester City teammate Wilfred Ndidi have also been invited.
Crotone’s 20-goal Serie A poacher Simy Nwankwo makes his return to the team, alongside Galatasaray defender Valentine Ozornwafor and FC Midtjylland midfield enforcer Frank Onyeka. There is also a first call up for the talented FC Lorient striker Terem Moffi.
Full Squad List – Nigeria
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, The Netherlands); Valentine Ozornwafor (Galatasaray FC, Turkey)
Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasaray FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Abdullahi Shehu (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Abraham Marcus (CD Feirense, Portugal)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Kano Pillars FC); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Peter Olayinka (Slavia Praha, Czech Republic); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC); Terem Moffi (FC Lorient, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Simy Nwankwo (Crotone FC, Italy)
Indomitable Lions’ Camp: Choupo-Moting and Toko-Ekambi among 28-man squad selected by head coach Conceição for Nigeria friendly
Cameroon head coach Toni Conceição Oliveira has included some high profile names in his 28-man squad; including the France-based duo of captain Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Paris Saint-Germain and Carl Toko-Ekambi of Lyon, as well as England based midfielder Andre Frank Zambo Anguisa of Fulham.
The Portuguese tactician has also included top stars like; Christian Bassogog, Bahoken Stephane, Kunde Malong and Fai Colins in the squad.
Full Squad List – Cameroon
Nigeria’s first World Cup appearance did not come until the expanded 1994 edition hosted by the United States, where they qualified top of a group that had a Diego Maradona-led Argentina, before losing narrowly and in controversial circumstances in the hands of Roberto Baggio’s Italy.
They also created history to become Africa’s highest ranked team ever (5th) by FIFA.
Nigeria won Gold at the football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, beating South American heavy weights Brazil and Argentina in the semi-final and final respectively, to become the first black nation to do so.
Nigeria have won the African Cup of Nations on three occasions; first on home soil in 1980, before repeating the feat fourteen years later in Tunisia 1994, with the most recent one coming eight years ago at South Africa 2013.
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on the other hand, have made more FIFA World Cup appearances (7) than any other African team (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014).
They also famously became the first African team to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, doing so at the Italia 1990 World Cup, before losing to England in extra time.
Cameroon joined Nigeria to become only the second ever African nation to win Olympic Gold in football when they won it at the Australia 2000 Games.
The Indomitable Lions are Africa’s second most successful team, with five Africa Cup of Nations titles, only behind Egypt who have won it a record seven times.
Cameroon have a reputation as the Nigeria’s boogie team when it comes to the final game of any African Cup of Nations tournament, defeating them on three different occasions, including the 2000 edition on home soil in Lagos.
However, more recently, games have tilted more towards Nigeria, with the last friendly encounter between both nations back in October 2015, ending 3-0 in favour of the three-time African champions.
Nigeria also defeated Cameroon 4-0 in Uyo, before managing a 1-1 draw away in Yaounde, in the qualifiers leading up to the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The last meeting between both nations ended in another defeat for Cameroon, as Nigeria rallied to a 3-2 win at the African Cup of Nations tournament held in Egypt 2019.
Overall, it is Nigeria who have the upper hand, with 12 wins, 7 draws and 4 losses.
So if you’re a bookie, that’s some cookie for you.
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Mubarak Mohammed Zakari He prefers to be known not as just a Sports Journalist; but as a "modern broadcaster" because of his ability to create content for visual, audio and print media. He co-hosts a football podcast with a growing audience from 17 countries across the globe.