Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye has stated that the three-time African champions are ready for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He made this known yesterday as Nigeria and Cameroon battle it out again at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt in the second of a two-match friendly series in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
“We have taken some positives from the first match against Cameroon. We had a good game and it was unfortunate that they scored with just that one shot on target.
“However, we have shown that we are ready for the AFCON with the strength of character we showed after conceding the goal. We are ready to go for it on Tuesday (today),” he said.
In the same vein, captain Ahmed Musa has said defeat in tomorrow’s friendly game against rivals, Cameroon is not an option.
“We are not happy to have created so many chances and fail to score. We will approach the game differently on Tuesday. Cameroon is a big rival and we are not happy to have lost the game on Friday,” he said.
Five –time African champions Cameroon edged the first encounter 1-0 at the same venue on Friday, courtesy of a 36th minute strike by Andre Zambo Nguissa. The Super Eagles created chance after chance but failed to get the ball into the net.
Coach Gernot Rohr spoke at length about having to use a rash of new players in the first session, but he is compelled to do even more of that in Tuesday’s encounter following injuries to defenders William Ekong and Jamilu Collins, and the knock for pacy winger Moses Simon.
After Friday’s game, Rohr told the media: “We missed seven key players due to injuries, so it was not our best team, but it was good to see other players. We are not happy to lose the game, but we saw some interesting new young players.”
Friday’s defeat was Rohr’s first loss to Cameroon in four matches. The Eagles pounded the Lions 4-0 in Uyo and were held 1-1 in Yaounde in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in September 2017, and then edged the Lions 3-2 in the Round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt two years ago.