This is the shock at the top of the 8th finals of CAN-2019. When Cameroon face Nigeria, they are two sacred monsters of African football that face each other. On the one hand, the indomitable Lions, title holders, and their five crowns in the African Cup. On the other, the Super Eagles and their three crowns.
The two West African sides have a historic rivalry, thanks to the three CAN finals won by Cameroonians in the nose and beard of Nigerians in 1984, 1988 and 2000.
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Difficult tournament start of the two giants
However, in the group stage, the two nations were unworthy of their rank of continent's leaders by finishing second in their respective groups. Worse, both teams have never been able to offer an exciting game.
Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf groped to find a system of play. From 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 to 5-3-2, the indomitable Lions showed their defensive solidity in coming out. Group F without conceding a single goal, the offensive sector is more worrying. Despite the plethora of talents in front of - Choupo-Moting, Toko-Ekambi, Njie, Bahoken, Bassogog ... - Cameroon scored only two goals. Critics that Captain Choupo-Moting swept after the third match against Benin (0-0): "Do not worry [the fact that Cameroon is struggling to score, Ed]. always say that the most important thing is to create opportunities.Today, we did it, unfortunately we did not score, but in the end we did not lose. "
Opposite, Nigeria did not offer more certainty in Group B. The Super Eagles have made sterile domination their trademark. If faced with Guinea and Burundi, they finally found the flaw, they were also surprised by Madagascar well disciplined and who took advantage of the excitement of his defense (2-0).
"We have not played very well so far and I think that in this tournament, we have not yet found our system, but we have won two matches and lost a single one," he said. Obi Mikel field. His coach, Franco-German Gernot Rohr, put the loss on the rotation account, five players from the first two games not being in the starting lineup of the third: "It was normal to rotate the team because we were already qualified, "he said after the match against Madagascar. "It was not so important to win," he sweeps.
The two African giants must now wake up if they want to go further in the tournament. Especially in the quarter, they may find the host country, Egypt, solid and realistic since the beginning of the competition.
• Egypt - South Africa : an easy draw for the Pharaohs
The other match of the day is between Egypt and South Africa. Except underperformance, this should be a formality for the host country. Led by Mohamed Salah, Egypt have scored so far with easy wins against Zimbabwe (1-0), the Democratic Republic of Congo (2-0) and Uganda (2-0) . Three wins without conceding a goal. Only two teams equal the record of Egypt: Morocco and Algeria.
Opposite, it's the opposite. The Bafana Bafana are struggling to see: a win, two defeats, a goal scored, two cashed ... South Africa is the least qualified country of the round of 16 as the fourth best third. And in the game, the men of Stuart Baxter have given little reason for hope, except perhaps the Strasbourg Lebo Mothiba, author of three benefits correct. But we are far from the "game like Barcelona" he evoked before the start of the tournament.
If we add the fact that South Africa has never beaten Egypt in the final phase of the African Cup, it is hard to see what could prevent the Pharaohs to challenge the winner of Nigeria-Cameroon at the international stadium in Cairo July 10th.
The program of July 6th :
Nigeria - Cameroon at 6 pm in Alexandria
Egypt - South Africa at 9 pm in Cairo