Super Eagles eye redemption in Douala

Super Eagles eye redemption in Douala
William Ekong of Nigeria challenged by Saint-Cyr Ngam of CAR during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and CAR at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria on 07 October 2021 ©Kabiru/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Saturday Oct 09, 2021. 13:00

Nigeria will be desperate to exact revenge on the Central African Republic (CAR) when the two nations meet in a CAF second round 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at Stade de la Réunification in Douala on Sunday. Kick-off is at 15h00 CAT.

The Super Eagles slumped to a shock 1-0 loss at home to the lowly ranked African nation on Thursday evening. Defeat in Lagos was their first on home soil in a World Cup qualifier for 40 years.

Substitute Karl Namnganda snatched a late winner to give the Wild Beasts, ranked 124th in the world by Fifa, a famous win.

It was Nigeria’s first home loss in a World Cup qualifier since October 10, 1981, when they lost 2-0 to Algeria in the same city and Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr will be feeling the pressure ahead of the reverse fixture in Cameroon this weekend.

“The players are still disappointed and still can’t understand why we could lose this match,” said Rohr in the aftermath.

“We dominated possession of the ball, we had several opportunities to score, but we did not score and very often in football, there was a counter and our opponents scored.

“We have to recover, and we have to make some changes in the team,” he added.

CAR head coach, Raoul Savoy, feels that Nigeria undermined his charges in what ultimately ended in a famous scalp for the Wild Beasts.

“We stood by them and knew that if we cut them off and don’t allow them to be quick, then we have got a chance. It’s a very great result for us,” said Savoy.

“I’m very happy because we put in a strategy and it worked. And when you put in a strategy and have young players, because we have young players in our team, who listen and put their heart in, they can beat anyone.

“Nigeria is one of the best teams in Africa but sometimes in football, you don’t take the game seriously because you feel at the beginning you have already won. I feel the Eagles said ‘we are going to take the three points and focus on other things’,” he concluded.

Despite the defeat, Nigeria head to Cameroon top of Group C on six points after three rounds of fixtures. Cape Verde are second on four points, tied with CAR, while Liberia sit at the foot of the table having managed the one win from their allotted matches.

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