AFCON 2023: Four Super Eagles Stars That Will Be Crucial for Nigeria’s Victory Over Cameroon

AFCON 2023: Four Super Eagles Stars That Will Be Crucial for Nigeria’s Victory Over Cameroon

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Samuel Chukwueze logo
S. Chukwueze
AC Milan logoFNigeria logo
Frank Onyeka logo
F. Onyeka
Brentford logoMNigeria logo
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Vincent Aboubakar logo
V. Aboubakar
Besiktas JK logoFCameroon logo
Karl Toko Ekambi logo
K. T. Ekambi
Al-Ettifaq FC logoMCameroon logo
Cameroon logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
  • The knockout rounds of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is on the horizon
  • Nigeria Super Eagles and perennial rivals Cameroon are poised to renew rivalries
  • Sports Brief takes a look at four players who will be pivotal to Jose Peseiro’s side sealing victory

The excitement in the lead-up to the pulsating 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) knockout tie between Nigeria and Cameroon continues to build.

This instalment of the nail-biting encounter, which is poised to open the floodgates of knockout fixtures at the competition, carries an element of vengeance, particularly for Cameroon, who have faced disappointment in their recent attempts to secure a competitive win against the Super Eagles.

AFCON, Cameroon, Super Eagles, CAF, Nigeria
Super Eagles of Nigeria players line up ahead of the AFCON clash against Equatorial Guinea. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Rigobert Song's team receives a boost with the return to fitness of 2021 AFCON topscorer Vincent Aboubakar. The return of the 32-year-old, coupled with the resurgence in the form of forward Karl Toko Ekambi, is expected to strengthen the indomitable Lions against Nigeria.

However, it has to be stressed that Jose Peseiro's side are not without their area of strength and in this piece, Sports Brief highlights four players of the Super Eagles who could ensure Nigeria seals victory against Cameroon.

William Troost-Ekong

The 30-year-old, who was a stalwart when both sides met in the quarter-final of the 2019 edition of the competition showpiece, is again poised to be one of the protagonists for Nigeria on the night.

Ekong's immense coordination and zonal marking abilities were instrumental when the Super Eagles triumphed over host nation Ivory Coast in the group stages. The team will undoubtedly need his wealth of experience and superb defending techniques to seal victory on the night.

Frank Onyeka

The Brentford midfield sensation is yet another player to watch closely in the upcoming match. The 26-year-old has consistently demonstrated his ability to pick out defence-splitting passes when given the space to execute them. Moreover, his combative style and adaptability to the demands of any football match have consistently set him apart from his peers.

Onyeka is poised to play a pivotal role for the Eagles, regardless of the team's tactical approach. The former Midtjylland star also boasts the capability to unleash powerful long-range shots, adding another dimension to his versatile skill set.

Samuel Chukwueze

The pacy AC Milan forward is another pivotal part of the current Super Eagles set-up.

The 24-year-old's ability to run past opposing defenders is another crucial factor for Nigeria to secure victory.

Chukwueze's capability to draw fouls in dangerous areas could be a game-changing factor in favour of the Super Eagles.

Furthermore, his proficiency in taking shots from the edge of the box might pose a significant concern for the Cameroonian defenders in the upcoming match.

Victor Osimhen

Undoubtedly the face of AFCON, the reigning Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year, is poised to pose a significant threat to any defence he encounters.

While the 25-year-old may not have found his goal-scoring form yet, Osimhen remains a formidable challenge for any opposing defence.

Amidst discussions about his goal-scoring ratio not meeting certain expectations, the forward is determined to hit the back of the net early in the upcoming encounter, spelling trouble for the Cameroonian team.

Beyond his well-documented goal-scoring prowess, as per data from Whoscored, the Napoli star is also a danger even when he has his back facing the goal. Osimhen's ability to hold up play and create space for his teammates adds another valuable dimension to his striking capabilities.

Coach Peseiro will undoubtedly rely on his dependable talisman to secure victory when the match commences at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.

What Nigeria must do to defeat Cameroon

In a separate report, Sports Brief emphasised the key things Nigeria's Super Eagles need to do to avoid defeat against Cameroon.

The Super Eagles are set for another challenging encounter against the Indomitable Lions, who are determined to seek revenge.

Nigeria will rely on its defensive strength as a crucial factor in securing the much-needed victory.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).