Fifteen Years ago, 7th of February to be precise Super Eagles faced Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the quarterfinals of the Nations cup in Tunisia.
The then Christian Chukwu tutored side that defeated Cameroon 2-1 to progress into the semifinal where they lost 5-3 to Tunisia but went ahead to win the third place match 2-1 against Mali.
The other quarterfinal matches lined up on that edition were Tunisia versus Senegal which Tunisia won 1-0, Morocco versus Algeria which Morocco won 3-1 after Extra time to progress and Mali versus Guinea which Mali won 2-1 to progress.
Still talking about that occasion Eagles paraded the likes of Jay Jay Okocha,Nwankwo Kanu, Victor Agali, Peter Odemwingie, John Utaka just to mention a few. A decade and half later can Eagles under German coach Gernot Rohr replicate that result, improve on it or fall below
That is the question that will be answered on Saturday at the Alexandria Stadium. The Eagles matches in the in just ended group stage has been neither here nor there scoring single goals in the ties against Burundi and Guinea and unbelievably losing 2-0 to debutants Madagascar who eventually topped the group.
Ordinarily a match against perennial rivals Cameroon and Ghana is always a cracker, but the unpredictability of the Eagles sometimes and even Cameroon who also appear to have recorded reduction in momentum has made some shy away from predicting how tough or ordinary the clash will be.
Tradition demands that there should be a lot of fireworks when this two teams meet.
Coach Gernot Rohr has consistently said his boys are not the favorites for the AFCON title this year, naming hosts Egypt Senegal and Tunisia instead as favorites. Going by his submission neither the lions are defending champions nor
Eagles who last won the Nations cup in 2013 under late Stephen keshi are favorites for the title.
But for this weekend’s clash, victory for Eagles must and should be assured. Losing to debutants Madagascar was not only shocking to some Nigerians but embarrassing to others.
Replicating the result of in Tunisia will be one way of re-assuring that even if they are not favorites they are ready to put in everything into the campaign