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AFCON 2023: Rigobert Song plots Nigeria fall in Round of 16 showdown

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By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Cameroon’s Head coach Rigobert Song expects his team to turn their slow start to the campaign into success against the Nigeria.

As Cameroon and Nigeria prepare to trade tackles at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as the Central African side drew their opening match 1-1 with Guinea and lost the second match 3-1 to holders, Senegal.

The results didn’t deter the five-time African champions from progressing to the knockout stage as the second-best team from Group C behind Senegal.

With a rich history of competition between both sides, Song, who was part of the Cameroon side that defeated Nigeria on penalties to win the title in 2000, wants his players to continue the country’s rich football history.

“This is a new generation of players. This is a stage that we are building up our team and the generation is moving forward to imbibe the history of Cameroon,” Song said during the pre-match press conference in Abidjan on Friday.

“This is a continuation of our history. It is true that we have conceded six goals but I believe we will get the right formula tomorrow to ensure that we don’t concede so many goals.

“Let us remain in the history and that of Cameroon is very particular. I believe that we are here for the tournament to go as far as we can.

“We will play our opponents with respect. Nigeria is a very competitive team. The best team technically and tactically will win.”

Known for their physical style of football, the Lions have scored their five goals in the tournament from set pieces of corners, crosses, or free kicks.

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“It is not about us playing physical football because there are lots of lessons from this tournament,” he continued.

“Some favourites are already out of the tournament. It is true that we faced some difficulties. We have begun this game but don’t know where we will stop.”