Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong believes the embarrassing 2-0 defeat against Madagascar in the group stage will inspire his side to victory in Saturday’s clash with the reigning Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) champions Cameroon.
The Super Eagles, who have been tipped as one of the tournament favourites, suffered a shocking defeat to Nicolas Dupuis’s men courtesy of goals from Lalaina Nomenjanahary and Carolus Andriamatsinoro on Sunday.
“We feel sad about the Madagascar game; it will give us a boost ahead against Cameroon,” Troost-Ekong told the media on Friday.
“We've been in this situation before when we've lost games when we might have been favourites beforehand. The same thing happened at home versus South Africa at the start of qualifying. Games like that happen.
“I think everyone now has woken up from that game. I don’t think anyone was satisfied from that performance. So we have to be very driven to show Nigeria and Africa that we feel otherwise. If you need motivation for this game you're probably not in the right mindset. We're going to be very eager to prove a point.”
Troost-Ekong, making his Afcon debut in Egypt, has featured twice for Nigeria so far: starting in both the defeat against Madagascar and the 1-0 win over Burundi in the opener.
The 25-year-old defender also spoke about his personal mission for the match.
“We aim to win and this game [against Cameroon] for me as a player will be pivotal,” he stated.
“We have faced them a number of times and know how good they are.
“We faced them in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and they might be out for revenge so we have to be ready for them."
This will be the seventh encounter between Nigeria and Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations, with the record between both sides being perfectly balanced: two wins for each side and two draws.