RUSSIA 2018 QUALIFIERS
Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report
Indomitable Lions Head Coach, Hugo Bross, has insisted that Algeria and not Nigeria that is the real threat to Cameroun’s qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Nigeria, Algeria, Cameroun and Zambia were paired in Group B of the Russia 2018 qualifier at the draws made last month in Cairo, Egypt.
But the Belgian remains unfazed by the presence of the Super Eagles in the same group with the Lions.
The Belgian told Cameroon Tribune wednesday that he is happy at playing away to Algeria in the first group fixture on October 3 – and Nigeria in Cameroun’s third game on August 28, 2017.
“I am satisfied with the draw since we will be meeting Algeria and Nigeria at home first,” the 64-year-old former Anderlecht defender was quoted by Tribune.
“This will enable us to readjust if necessary at home. But for the first game against the Fennecs, I think the pressure will not be on our side. Algeria knows they cannot afford to drop points at home, especially against direct rivals like us. It is for us to exploit this advantage to get a good result. Anyway, we must be in our best shape to face each of our opponents, especially mentally,” observed coach in his assessment of the chances of the Indomitable Lions.
Similarly, veteran Cameroun defender, Henri Bedimo, believes the Lions, who stopped Nigeria from qualifying for Italy ’90, can secure their eighth World Cup berth and pile more misery on the Eagles.
Led by the amazing Roger Milla the Lions snuffed Super Eagles out, including a 3-0 flattening.
The Super Eagles are to start their round robin play on October 3 against Zambia which on paper will be their easiest match.
With Nigeria’s five appearances at the World Cup, ball followers in the land are now apprehensive of what to make of the team’s fate in the quest for a sixth in Russia.
Poor funding, organizational hassles and the inability to hire a coach to replace Sunday Oliseh, months after he quit the Eagles job, are some of the problems creating fears as the qualifiers are months away.
Yet many of the green-white-green faithful remain optimistic and point out that Nigeria always performed better when either written off or with their backs up against the wall.
They will also point out that, head to head, the Eagles have the edge having beaten the Central Africans 10 times and drawing six while losing only four out of the 20 times they have met.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced last week that the list of shortlisted coaches to be interviewed for the Eagles job is to be released tomorrow with all eyes on Frenchman Paul Le Guen seen as the front runner.