World Soccer - - ROAD TO RUSSIA -

Reign­ing African cham­pi­ons Cameroon will miss out on next year’s World Cup fi­nals un­less they win at least one of their games against Nige­ria in the up­com­ing home­and-away qual­i­fy­ing dou­ble-head­ers.

Draws against Al­ge­ria and Zam­bia got the In­domitable Lions’ cam­paign off to a slow start, and con­fi­dence wasn’t helped by a dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance at the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup.

Hugo Broos’ side picked up just one point and man­aged a soli­tary goal in their three games, and he knows his side need more fire­power if they are to re­turn to Rus­sia next sum­mer.

“If you have one [striker] in mind, please tell me his name and I’ll go straight away and see him,” Broos said af­ter a 1-1 draw with Aus­tralia. “We’re search­ing, we’re search­ing, we’re search­ing, and we keep on search­ing, but you have to be able to find one – some­one who scores goals.”

As a case in point, de­fender Michael Ngadeu-Ngad­jui was the team’s top scorer with two goals when they won the African Na­tions Cup in Jan­uary.

Op­po­nents Nige­ria, mean­while, have prob­lems of their own – at the other end of the pitch.

With keeper Carl Ikeme un­der­go­ing treat­ment for leukaemia, Daniel Akpeyi was in goal for June’s Na­tions Cup qual­i­fier at home to South Africa. But his woe­ful dis­play in the Su­per Ea­gles’ 2-0 de­feat has led to calls for the re­turn of Vin­cent Enyeama, who quit the side af­ter a row with for­mer na­tional coach Sun­day Oliseh.

With only the win­ners of the five African groups qual­i­fy­ing for the fi­nals there is lit­tle room for er­ror, and Egypt

will all but book their ticket with two vic­to­ries over Uganda.

They, along with Nige­ria, are one of four teams with max­i­mum points from their first two games, and two other sides with 100 per cent records meet in Group A, where Tu­nisia host DR Congo on Septem­ber 1, be­fore the re­turn in Kin­shasa four days later.

All four teams still have hopes of go­ing through in Group C, where Morocco take on Mali and Gabon play Ivory Coast. And in Group D, joint-top South Africa play Cape Verde, while Burk­ina Faso meet Sene­gal, who are just a point be­hind the top two.

Hugo Broos knows his side need more fire­power if they are to re­turn to Rus­sia next sum­mer

Dis­ap­point­ing... Cameroon won just one point at the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup

Crit­i­cism...Daniel Akpeyi is un­der pres­sure

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