The much awaited Africa Group B Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Cameroon ended up a no-contest with Super Eagles handing the reigning AFCON title holders a humiliating 4-0 and coach of the Nigerian side, Gernot Rohr, has revealed that the plot against the Indomitable Lions was hatched earlier in the year taking advantage of their exposures at the 2017 AFCON and the Russia 2018 Confederations Cup.
The Super Eagles had taken early lead with four points difference in the group which also has Zambia and Algeria but Nigerians were apprehensive about what Cameroon will bring to the contest with their profile as Africa champions and the advantage of playing in the Confederations Cup both of which were thought to have provided them ample tune ups to come against a Nigerian side which was not at the AFCON and had few or no opportunities to prepare, but the big game turned out a mis-match as Rohr who was on the sidelines of the 2017 AFCON said he took time to study their style and quality and developed the right tactics to deflate them.
At the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday, the Indomitable Lions began on an offensive note with the hope of securing a shocking early goal to put the Super Eagles on back foot but they were resiliently contained by Rohr’s combination of experience and youth who turnover the pressure to unleash unimaginable soccer venom on the visitors.
Odion Ighalo who was positioned on top 9 to wear out the Cameroonians opened the floodgate of goals in the 29th minute when he shook off the two central defenders from mercurial captain Mikel Obi’s killer-pass and drove from the left to the right angle of the post to bright up the day for Nigeria. Mikel doubled the lead before the half time swiping in Victor Moses’ low but tricky corner kick in the 42nd minute.
At the resumption of play, the Cameroonians attempted to pick up and return to the fight but all their efforts were swept off by Leon Balogun, Ekong Troost and Wilfred Ndidi. Their hope was however quickly put down in the 55th minute with Victor Moses initiating an attack with Moses Simon and running to smack in a stretcher from the right to the left of the post in a most clinical finish. Moses again stormed on from the right flank in the 76th minute, taking all opposition into the box and delivered a low cross to substitute Kelechi Iheanacho who perfected the attack with a close range header to complete the routing that left the Africa champions looking very ordinary.
With the result, Nigeria stretches its lead at maximum 9 points from three gamis while Cameroon remains at 2 points before Zambia and Algeria, both on one point apiece from two games, clash in Lusaka this Saturday evening.
With bowed head and low sport, the subdued Lions immediately departed for Cameroon same Friday night to await the Super Eagles who will travel to Yaounde on Sunday for the return leg and fourth round of the qualifier scheduled for Monday.