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#AFCON2023: Nigerian players possess fighting spirit to beat Cameroon – Rohr

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Former Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr, said most of the Super Eagles players have the mental strength and fighting spirit to defeat Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions.

Nigeria and Cameroon will renew their rivalry when they clash in the round of 16 of at 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan.

The Cameroonians would be hoping to end Nigeria’s dominance over them in recent meetings at the AFCON.

The last time Cameroon beat Nigeria at the AFCON was in the final of the 2000 edition, which they won 3-2 on penalties after 120 minutes of football ended 2-2.

Since then, the Eagles have won the last two meetings in 2004 (2-1, quarter-finals) and 2019 (3-2, round of 16).

Commenting on the performance of the Cameroonians, Rohr praised them for their toughness and doggedness, especially how they managed to qualify for the knockout stage.

However, the German coach said most of the Eagles players he knows equally possess the needed qualities to beat the five-time AFCON winners.

“They should believe in their strength, they can do it like they did in 2019,” Rohr said in a video interview posted on former BBC reporter Osasu Obayiuwana’s X handle.

“Cameroon had problems, it was not easy in their first two group games. Their match against Gambia was a crazy one because at some point you will think it’s finished when they were down 2-1 with five minutes left.

“At the 2021 AFCON they were down 3-0 against Burkina Faso and in 10 minutes they came back to 3-3, which means the Cameroonian players never accept defeat, they still believe, they are strong mentally and they have fighting spirit.

“But Nigeria also have fighting spirit just like we did against Cameroon in 2019. Even if you are down by one or two goals you can come back and win. It’s possible, it’s a question of the spirit, a question of mental strength, of discipline, solidarity, fighting spirit.

“Most of the Nigerian players I know them very well they have these qualities and can do it, also they have the best player in Africa and I’m sure they will qualify.“

He, however, admitted the Eagles will not find it easy against Cameroon.

“It will be difficult because Cameroon is becoming strong again especially in the win against Gambia in the final minutes but they still have problems, defensive problems, also problems inside the group, goalkeeping issue,” Rohr said.

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