With qualification hopes hanging by a thread following their 1-1 draw against visiting Zambia in their Russia 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier in Limbe on Saturday, the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) has declared Cameroon’s double-header against their bitter rivals Nigeria next year must-win games.
The Super Eagles opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table following their 3-1 defeat of Algeria in Uyo on Saturday.
Nigeria have six points to sit top of the group, followed by Cameroon in the second place on two points. Both Zambia and Algeria have one point apiece. The winners of the group will book the sole ticket to Russia 2018.
The Eagles host the Indomitable Lions in the first leg qualifier on August 28, 2017, with the Central Africans hosting the Nigerians in the return leg fixture on September 2, 2017.
Apparently afraid the four-time African champions could miss out on a place at Russia 2018, having appeared at Espana ‘82, Italia ‘90, USA ‘94, France ‘98, Korea/Japan 2002, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, FECAFOOT on Monday told Cameroon coach Hugo Bross that he must pick up maximum points in the double-header against Nigeria.
FECAFOOT, who expressed their disappointment at the draw against Zambia, wrote on their official website on Monday, “The coming months will be months of hard work. In January and February next year, the national team will have to confirm their ambition to restore the national coat of arms during their participation at the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
“The Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers next year will be of great importance with two decisive matches against Nigeria, currently first in our group.
“To maintain the positive report of the performances of our various national teams, one goal is needed – to shine in Gabon and win these two matches against Nigeria.”
And the Indomitable Lions’ Belgian manager Bross called for focus ahead of the fixtures against the Eagles, tipping Cameroon for victories in both encounters.
“We already knew before the two matches against Nigeria would be decisive, that we would have to win to have a chance to go to the World Cup,” the 64-year-old former Belgium defender was quoted by the Cameroon Tribune as saying on Monday.