The Cubs of Cameroon will be clashing with group leaders, the Flying Eagles of Nigeria today in a game pundits have dubbed the final before the finale in the 2011 CAF Orange African Youth Championship tournament.
Nigeria and Cameroon, two African giants, will be seeking their second victory after beating Ghana and Gambia respectively in their group B opening games on Monday at the Dobsonville stadium in Johannesburg South Africa. A victory for either of the teams will earn them a ticket to the World Championship in Columbia.
Nigeria beat world and African Champion, the Black Satellites of Ghana 2_1 to top Group B on goal difference ahead of Cameroon who beat Gambia 1_0.
Enugu Rangers forward, Uche Nwofor claimed a brace in that game and he is certain to get the nod to start.
Nigeria’s best player against the Black Satellites, Ahmed Musa will be conspicuously missing as he has been recalled to Holland by his Dutch side, VVV Venlo ahead of their Eredivisie (Dutch league) clash against Hereenveen on Saturday. Flying Eagles coach John Obuh is expected to hand Edafe Egbedi a place in the starting line up in the absence of Musa and the youngster has said that he is not fazed by the prospect of facing the Cmerounians..
The stakes are high for these two West African arch rivals who will be playing to seize an early qualification into the second round and an automatic qualification to the World cup in Columbia.
Considering the long standing football rivalry and pride that comes with beating each other, these two brotherly and neighbourly nations will also be playing for honour, to assert who is the dominantteam.
Nigeria has a richer pedigree than Cameroon at this level having won the completion five times previously (more than any other nation).
Cameroon’s solitary triumph came in 1995 when the tournament was ironically hosted by Nigeria.
However,Cameroon has always beaten Nigeria at this level especially since the championship adopted the tournament format in 1991 ,and even when Nigeria paraded some amazing talent as in 1993 squad with Jay-Jay Okocha,Tijani Babangida,Taribo West,Nwankwo Kanu,Benedict Akwuegu.
An action packed game is therefore expected as they go head to head with both coaches quite optimistic about their teams ambitions.