Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said the long rivalry between the Super Eagles and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions would yet again come to the fore when the continental arch-rivals clash in an international friendly on 4 June at the Weiner Neustadt Stadium in Vienna, Austria.
Rohr said it becomes imperative to keep his wards in shape, following the postponement of the first and second matchdays of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, adding that Cameroon is an ideal fixture to bring out the best in his side.
“This friendly against Cameroon is an interesting game because we are going to have some of the new players, since some of our regular players will not be available due to injuries, and it is not easy to have everybody at this period because it is also the off season period,” Rohr told CAFOnline.com.
“It is a big test game and an opportunity to test the new players,” added the German coach.
Incidentally, this is the fourth time Rohr would be leading Nigeria against Cameroon since taking over the Super Eagles in 2016, and he admitted there would always be a sense of déjà vu anytime both side meet.
Nigeria, who won the Africa Cup of Nations three times but have been walloped by Cameroon in the final of the competition on three other occasions, defeated the Indomitable Lions 3-0 in a friendly in Belgium in October 2015, and have not lost to the Lions in regular time since a 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Yaounde on 27th August 1989.
Under Rohr, the Super Eagles wounded the Indomitable Lions with a 4-0 home win in Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and had a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in Yaounde. It was Nigeria that yet beat Cameroon 3-2 in that energetic 2019 Total AFCON Round of 16 decider in Alexandria, Egypt.
“Of course, we are not going to play for the result against Cameroon in Austria, but it’san opportunity to see our boys and see something different with our systems against a very good team that will host the next AFCON,” Rohr, who will turn 68 on June 28th further told CAFOnline.com.
“It is true that we beat them in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers and at the last AFCON in a very interesting game of the Round of 16, but this friendly is going to be different. I’ve seen that they have a list of 28 players, but I’m hopeful all our players listed would be able to come for the match. I hope we are going to have a good weather in Vienna for this match,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rohr selected 24 players for this important friendly against the five-time African champions, captain Ahmed Musa who is currently attached with Kano Pillars in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), as well as vice-captain William Ekong, along with two home-based John Noble and Anayo Iwuala.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, The Netherlands); Valentine Ozornwafor (Galatasaray FC, Turkey)
Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasaray FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Abdullahi Shehu (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Abraham Marcus (CD Feirense, Portugal)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Kano Pillars FC); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Peter Olayinka (Slavia Praha, Czech Republic); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC); Terem Moffi (FC Lorient, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Simy Nwankwo (Crotone FC, Italy)