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Africa Cup of Nations

2019 Afcon: Cameroon are scared of Nigeria - Kanu

7:16 PM IST 06/07/19
Super Eagles - Nigeria vs. Guinea
The former captain of the Eagles has stated Nigeria will get the job done against the Indomitable Lions on Saturday in Alexandria

Former Super Eagles skipper Nwankwo Kanu has asserted Nigeria won’t have it easy against Cameroon in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) second round tie but that he is tipping them to scale through to the next round.

Kanu is one of the seven legends named by the Confederation of African Football as Ambassadors for Afcon in Egypt.

He wants the Eagles to seize the initiative from the start of the game to unsettle the Indomitable Lions.

“It is going to be a tough one knowing the rivalry between Nigeria and Cameroon,” Kanu told the media.

“The tie involving both teams is always a battle but the good thing is that the last time we met we won 4-0 in Nigeria and drew 1-1 in Cameroon. But all the same, it is a game that I see that we can win.

“The players must have to do it. They have to have the belief that they can do it and that they are all good to do it. With what I saw in their training (on Thursday), I can say that we are ready.

“Cameroon wherever they are, are scared of Nigeria. We also respect them. it is a game that will be very interesting but in the end, victory will be ours.

“It is football [losing to Madagascar] and sometimes things as such happen but that is not always the end. It was a mistake and they can bounce back.

“A good team can be losing 3-0 and still stage a comeback. We did it in the Olympics (in 1996) against Brazil and we won. What we need to do is that we have to forget what happened against Madagascar and move forward.

“We still have equal chances as Cameroon of moving to the next round. What we need to do since we didn’t play well against Madagascar is to ensure that we use the game with Cameroon to serve the notice that we only suffered a blip."    

It was Kanu’s pass that John Utaka scored the decisive goal which sank Cameroon 15 years ago in Monastir, Tunisia in the quarter-final of the 2004 Afcon.

The twice African Player of the Year stressed he had to hold off more than two Cameroonian players before he was able to supply the pass which put Utaka through on goal.

"They scored first in Tunisia before Jay-Jay Okocha equalized for Nigeria,” he recalled.

“The game was going back and forth and not sure for any team until I collected the ball. I could see about two or three of their players coming to mark me but I found a way to give the pass to John Utaka and it left him with the goalkeeper alone and he was able to convert it.”