CAMEROON COULD MISS OUT
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