The current form of Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ next competitive opponents, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will become apparent when the Central African country files out against Chile in a Group B FIFA Confederation Cup tie at Spartak Stadium, Moscow in Russia on Sunday.
Smarting from a 4-0 pre tournament defeat by Colombia, Cameroon will be attempting to improve on their previous best performance which was in France, in 2003.
Cameroon will be leaning on its goalkeeping cousins of Fabrice Ondoa and Andre Onana who will be re-enacting the goalkeeping rivalry of Joseph-Antoine Bell and the legendry Thomas Nkono.
Sports Village Square gathered that the two goalkeepers have much in common, not least the fact that they are cousins and were born within three months of each other.
Both spent time at the Samuel Eto’o Foundation before joining Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy, where Ondoa – as is the case with the national team – got the nod ahead of his younger cousin.
But unlike the previous sets of Indomitable Lions, this particular class is lacking in high profile players. But team bonding remains the strength. “We’ve all become firm friends,” skipper Benjamin Moukandjo explained to FIFA media team.
“When it’s just us, we tell jokes and make fun of each other, but once we’re out on the training pitch, everything gets serious again – we know when we need to get down to work,” forward Benjamin Moukandjo explained in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com in the Moscow hotel where Les Lions Indomptables have decided to base themselves ahead of their opening match with Chile.
Sunday’s match is the first time Cameroon and Chile are meeting after their previous meeting at France ’98 World Cup 19 years ago. At that group round encounter, score line was stalemated at 1-1 in Nantes following strikes from Jose Sierra and Patrick Mboma.
Chile are the sixth South American side to enter the Confederations Cup after Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and finally Colombia, who were the last South American representatives to make their tournament bow in 2003.
In all eight matches featuring Cameroon to date, only one side scored. Four of the games finished 1-0 (with three wins for the central Africans and one defeat), three ended 2-0 (one victory and two losses) and the other was a 0-0 draw.