Nigeria v Cameroon: Super Eagles urged to cut out individual errors after shock Madagascar loss
Nigeria must learn from the mistakes they made against Madagascar as they head into their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 tie with reigning champions Cameroon, according to coach Gernot Rohr.
The Super Eagles slipped to a surprise 2-0 defeat to Barea in their final Group B game, with the AFCON debutants finishing top of the pool.
Leon Balogun was at fault for Madagascar's opening goal as he was robbed of possession, and the defeat set up a contest against Cameroon in the last 16.
Rohr wants his side to cut out such errors, but added Nigeria can use the defeat as extra motivation ahead of Saturday's encounter in Alexandria.
"I'm scared of us committing individual errors and I hope we won't have individual errors again that will cost us," Rohr told a news conference.
"The match against Madagascar was a little deception, but we and the fans have learnt to be humble.
"The loss was a lesson we'll all learn from. I trust my team. We'll prove to Nigerian fans that the last game was just a mistake.
"There were changes in the team to play some players and keep them in the rhythm of the competition, but now the best team have to start against Cameroon to do their best and make Nigeria proud."
Cameroon finished second behind Ghana in Group F and are yet to concede a goal in the competition, though they have only netted twice themselves.
And coach Clarence Seedorf knows the Indomitable Lions must be at their best to see off another of the tournament favourites.
"It is not new to us, trying to win. It's normal for us," Seedorf told reporters.
"Our team is good, yet Nigeria is also a big team. All we have to do is perform well and see where it leads us."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nigeria - Alex Iwobi
Though he is yet to score in the tournament, Iwobi has looked bright in both of the games he started. With his club Arsenal reportedly in the market for Wilfried Zaha – featuring at the AFCON for Ivory Coast – Iwobi will be keen to use the latter stages of the competition to either prove his worth to Unai Emery, or perhaps put himself in the shop window.
Cameroon - Andre Onana
After a wonderful season with Ajax, goalkeeper Onana has kept three clean sheets in the AFCON, having carried his club form into the tournament. However, he may have his work cut out if Nigeria's attack clicks into gear.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- Saturday's tie will be the seventh AFCON encounter between Nigeria and Cameroon.
- Nigeria have won six of their last seven AFCON games, the only exception being against Madagascar in their most recent fixture.
- Cameroon are unbeaten in their last nine games in the AFCON, their joint-longest such streak in the tournament.
- Nigeria midfielder Peter Etebo is the player who registered the most recoveries in the group stage.
- Cameroon's last eight AFCON goals have been scored from the 59th minute onwards.