…SUPER EAGLES vs INDOMITABLE LIONS
The pressure is mounting on the Indomitable Lions, who have less than four days to prepare for the 3rd and 4th qualifying days of the 2018 World Cup qualifying against the Super Eagles.
The first leg of the double confrontation against the Super Eagles holds on August 31 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
Seen as a decisive match by the likes of striker Benjamin Moukandjo, the Indomitable Lions have their work cut out against the Eagles, who top Group B with six points, after two wins against Algeria and Zambia.
Cameroon stay second in the group standings, with two points after two draws against Algeria and Zambia.
Feeling the pressure, as only group winners qualify for the World Cup in Russia, the Indomitable Lions are desperate to get a positive result in Uyo, which will be seen as a boost ahead of the return leg four days later in Cameroon.
With a draw, the reigning African champions will cut the deficit on Eagles to three, but fear of being overtaken on the table by Algeria or Zambia, should either side win their match.
But the best case scenario for Cameroon is a win in Uyo, which will see them cut Eagles lead to one point, enough to put their foes under pressure and making for an explosive return leg on September 4 in Yaounde, which Coach Hugo Broos side will be confident of winning.
Players of the Indomitable Lions see the two matches in Uyo and Yaounde as the litmus tests that will decide their World Cup hopes.
And the choice of players for the games is also troubling Belgian-born coach, Broos.
With attackers, who still struggle to satisfy the yearning of fans for goals, the Indomitable Lions seem more of ah defensive unit than a attacking force.
There is no shortage of examples to illustrate this point. At the last African Cup of Nations in Gabon, of the six strikers used at the tournament, only Vincent Aboubakar, Christian Bassogog and Benjamin Moukandjo found the net, accounting for three goals out of the seven registered by Cameroon.
Central defender, Michael Ngadeu, with two goals, was Cameroon’s top scorer of the competition. This is a clear departure from previous years, when the trio of Samuel Eto’o, Patrick Mboma and Joseph Job, who ended past AFCON competitions with nearly ten goals as was the case with AFCON 2000 jointly-hosted by Nigeria and Ghana and the 2002 edition in Mali.
Observers feel a not-too prolific attack like that of this crop of Indomitable Lions can certainly do with some new blood and initiative Coach Broos believes the return of Clinton N’jié and Eric Maxime Choupo- Moting might address the issue, which admits is giving him sleepless nights.
“Of course, I worry over the scarcity of goals from my strikers. With new additions, hopefully, the problem will be solved”, said Broos.
The Marseille striker had a very good pre-season preparation, scoring five goals in as many matches for the Ligue I outfit.
Having scored three goals in the current French Ligue 1campaign, N’jié intends to play a leading role in the looming games against the Super Eagles.
He is co – top scorer with Mariano Diaz of Lyon and world record signing, Neymar of PSG
On Maxime Choupo- Moting, who plays for Stoke in the English Premier League, hopes are high that Cameroon will find a regular scorer in the youngster.
Fans eyes are now turned firmly on the strike force of the Indomitable Lions to see if they can finally deliver the goals when they confront the Super Eagles on September 1st and 4th in Uyo and Yaounde respectively.