“We’re African champions, bring on Nigeria”, Indomitable Lions defender boasts.

Ahead of their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria, Cameroun defender, Ambrose Oyongo, says they will approach the back to back games with the mentality of champions of Africa.


Cameroun will face group leaders Nigeria in back to back World Cup qualifiers, with Nigeria four points ahead of them in the race to be in Russia following two straight victories. Cameroun have drawn their opening two games.


However, Oyongo believes there’s a change of mentality in the squad, which will make them approach their remaining World Cup qualifiers as the number one team in Africa after winning the Cup of Nations.


“The Confederations Cup in Russia will help us perfect our strategy before the games against Nigeria. We will be up against some of the best team in the World. We are champions of Africa, we are not scared of Nigeria,” he said.


Source: Guardian

Cameroon beat Ghana to reach Cup of Nations final

Michael Ngadeu and Christian Bassogog both netted in the second half as Cameroon beat Ghana 2-0 in Franceville on Thursday to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final.

A finely-poised tie remained goalless until the 72nd minute, when Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah failed to deal with a free-kick into his area and John Boye’s weak defensive header merely served as an assist for Ngadeu to control and fire home.

Bassogog then broke away to clinch the win and spark wild celebrations as Hugo Broos’s side progress to a final against Egypt in Libreville on Sunday.

Ghana, who have still never beaten Cameroon at the competition, will now go to Port-Gentil for a third-place play-off against Burkina Faso on Saturday.

This was their sixth consecutive Cup of Nations semi-final, but their wait to win the trophy for the first time since 1982 will go on.

Just as in their quarter-final win against DR Congo, Ghana were once again without Asamoah Gyan at kick-off as their captain struggled to shake off a groin injury.

In his absence, the Black Stars were second best for most of the first half and Cameroon were unfortunate not to be in front after a lively start to the match.

Adolphe Teikeu saw his header from a Benjamin Moukandjo corner cleared off the line by Harrison Afful and Razak had to get down to save when Robert Ndip Tambe swept a Moukandjo cross towards goal.

Moukandjo, the France-based captain of this inexperienced Cameroon side, also headed onto the roof of the net as the Ghanaians weathered the storm.

With Andre Ayew struggling to get into the game from his position on the left flank, Avram Grant’s side made little impression going forward until five minutes before half-time.

That was when Christian Atsu’s pass into the box split the Cameroonian defence and found Jordan Ayew, whose shot from a tight angle whistled just wide of Fabrice Ondoa’s far post.

In a reversal of roles, Ghana were the better team at the start of the second half with the lightning quick winger Atsu their main source of danger.

When one of his runs was illegally halted outside the area, Mubarak Wakaso whipped in the resulting free-kick and Ondoa flew high to his right to turn the ball behind.

The Indomitable Lions steadied themselves and got the breakthrough from a set-piece of their own, the goal Cameroon’s first in almost five hours since Ngadeu netted the winner against Guinea-Bissau in the group stage.

Ghana then sent on Gyan for the closing stages but as they pushed men forward Bassogog broke downfield and beat Razak to make it 2-0 in the third minute of added time.


Source: AFP

We won’t celebrate Algeria’s failure in AFCON, says NFF.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says there is nothing to celebrate over the resignation of Algeria’s Belgian coach, Georges Leekens, who quit yesterday after the side crashed out of the on-going Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.


Algeria were one of the pre-tournament favourites for the competition, but they failed to win a game in their opening group.The North Africans are in the same group with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the qualifiers for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup. While Nigeria is leading the group with six points from two matches, Algeria has just one point from the same number of games.


Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, NFF Technical Committee chairman, Chris Green, said the fact that Algeria could not make it beyond the group stage at Gabon 2017 AFCON does not make the team a weak side.


The Super Eagles will play the Lions of Cameroun home and away in August this year, host Zambia before going to Algeria for their last Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier.


Algeria’s Belgian coach, Georges Leekens said in a statement on the Algerian Football Federation website yesterday: “For the good of all I decided to quit even though I do it with heart ache, and I wish all the success in the world to the national side.”


After the game in Franceville, Leekens indicated he hoped to continue as coach, with the next target being qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


“But given the pressure on the federation and the national team, I preferred to end my contract out of friendship for the president of the FAF (Algerian Football Federation) who deserves respect,” he said in the statement.


Source: Guardian

7 Cameroon players shun AFCON

Seven Cameroon players have said they do not want to go to the African Nations Cup finals, setting them on a collision course with the country’s football federation and a possible ban from playing for their clubs while the tournament is on.

Joel Matip of Liverpool is one of the seven who told coach Hugo Broos they are not interested in being selected for the tournament in Gabon, which starts on January 14.

“These players have put personal interest above those of the national team and the federation reserves the right to take action against the players in accordance with FIFA regulations,” said Broos in a statement on Tuesday.

The other six are Andre Onana (Ajax Amsterdam), Guy Roland Ndy Assembe (Nancy), Allan Nyom (West-Bromwich-Albion), Maxime Poundje (Girondins-Bordeaux), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Olympique-Marseille) and Ibrahim Amadou (Lille).

All seven had earlier this month been named in a preliminary list of 35 for the tournament, where Cameroon are drawn in Group A with the hosts, Burkina Faso and Guinea Bissau.

Cameroon’s football federation (Fecafoot) can ask FIFA to suspend the players at club level for the duration of the tournament, which ends on February 6, if they so desire.

Matip did not want to play for Cameroon for the moment because of a “bad experience” with the previous coaching staff, the statement said.

The German-born defender has not featured for Cameroon since the World Cup in Brazil but Broos, who took over in February, has twice been to see him to try and persuade him to return to the side.

Nyom told Broos he wanted to stay at West Bromwich Albion to keep his place in the team, a sentiment shared by Amadou, Ndy Assembe, Onana and Zambo Anguissa.

Poundje, uncapped by Cameroon, said he preferred to concentrate on setting his sights on playing for France.

Cameroon are to name the final 23-man squad for the tournament next week.

Akwa Ibom procures 20,000 jerseys for Super Eagles fans – official

The Akwa Ibom State Government says it has printed 20,000 T-shirts for distribution to football fans to cheer Super Eagles in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against the Desert Foxes (Fennecs) of Algeria in Uyo.

Government also constituted a Local Organising Committee to ensure a successful hosting of the match at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

The Chairman of the Publicity subcommittee of the LOC, Nse Edem, disclosed this to newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday.

Edem said that the committee, chaired by the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Etekamba Umoren, also included medical, security, accommodation and marketing committees.

He said that the committee would be coordinated by veteran sports journalist and FIFA Technical Officer, Paul Bassey.

Edem said that measures had been put in place to ensure that there were no lapses.

Edem said: “As far as we are concerned, there will be no excuses for failure because we have learnt our lessons from the last AFCON qualifier played in Uyo.

“We have put every arrangement in place to ensure they don’t reoccur again.”

Edem, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Youths and Sports, said sales of tickets would begin on Wednesday at designated spots within Akwa Ibom State and other parts of Nigeria.

He also said that 200 personnel would be deployed to ensure the safety of fans.

According to him, supporters clubs of local teams in the state will also be mobilised to compliment the Nigerian Football Supporters Club to cheer the Super Eagles to victory.

Edem said: “As far as Akwa Ibom state is concerned, there will be no margin for errors for this weekend’s qualifier.

“We are confident that Uyo will host all the Super Eagles home matches for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.”

Nigeria currently leads their group in the Russia 2018 African qualifiers after a 2-1 win in Ndola against host Zambia last month.

NFF In Talks With Enyeama, Emenike Over Possible Return To Super Eagles

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), says it is in talks with Vincent Enyeama and Emmanuel Emenike, former goalkeeper and striker respectively, over possible return to Super Eagles.


Super Eagles Interim Coach Samson Siasia who said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, said the aim was to ensure that the country assembles its best legs against Egypt.


The Super Eagles have crucial two-legged Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), qualifying matches against the Pharaohs of Egypt.


The first leg encounter takes place in Kaduna on March 25, while the return leg match is scheduled for Cairo on March 29.


Siasia said NFF was exploring every avenue capable of bringing success, adding that it had taken steps to facilitate the players’ return to the team.


“We just finished talking with the NFF Technical Director, Shaibu Amadu; we are just putting the list of invited players together and after the NFF Technical Committee meeting on Thursday, the list should be released’’, he said.


“The Super Eagles’ Secretary, Dayo Enebi, will be contacting the invited players and he is talking with Enyeama and Emenike; we will talk with them when they are ready to talk.

“We will be happy to see these players back in the team if they can help us to qualify for 2017 AFCON’’, he said.


The Olympic silver medal winning coach, however, said he was not under any pressure to win Egypt.


“The job for me is tasking but we are here for challenges and, being a challenge does not mean that it is a mountain we cannot climb.

“I am not feeling any pressure; all I want to do is to ensure we do well in the two games against Egypt.’’


Siasia was appointed on Friday by the NFF as interim Super Eagles coach following the resignation of Sunday Oliseh.


He is to be assisted by Flying Eagles’ coach Emmanuel Amuneke, Salisu Yusuf and Alloy Agu.



See How Much Dream Team, Siasia Earned After Winning AFCON

Each member of the Dream Team V1 was paid the Naira equivalent of $4,000 after they defeated Algeria 2-1 to clinch the 2015 AFCON in Dakar, Senegal, on Saturday night and this brings to a total of $12,000 each player was paid.

“We have been paid our winning bonus for the final,” a player confirmed to Africanfootball.com yesterday morning. They would not have got anything had they lost the final.

In total, each player received the Naira equivalent of $12,000 for winning the U23 AFCON. Coach Samson Siasia was paid double this amount.

A further breakdown showed the team were paid the Naira equivalent of $4,000-a-player for the final win, $3,000-a-man for the semi-final win over hosts Senegal, $2,000-a-man for the opening-day win over Mali, and $1,000 for the draws with Egypt and Algeria.

They were also paid $100 per day for the 10 days they trained in The Gambia prior to this championship, which amounted to $1,000.
Credit: DailyTrust

Ifreke Inyang: 5 Things We Learnt From Tanzania vs Nigeria

1. Difficult start for Oliseh

As soon as Sunday Oliseh was announced as Stephen Keshi’s successor, he has been submerged in a giant wave of optimism and goodwill. A lot of people – this writer included – has been genuinely hopeful and excited. Well, it is not as if all that has evaporated, but this is surely not the start he hoped for. He will have more time to work on the squad and the results will start showing soon.

2. Carl I keep your shirt, Vincent?

Amid the inexperience and lack of basic intelligence in the Eagles squad, debutant Carl Ikeme managed to stand out and cover himself in glory. The Wolves goalkeeper, who was called up to replace the bereaved Vincent Enyeama was a commanding presence, calm and classy. Ikeme pulled off some nice stops in the second half, when the Tanzania threatened to shock.

3. Beginning of the end for Haruna

One of the major talking points of the game, was Oliseh pulling out Haruna Lukman in the 35th minute of the game. The Anzhi midfielder looked lethargic prior to that, playing with little or no energy and enthusiasm. It is one thing to have ability. It is not thing to use it well. Once again, we saw that the line between arrogance and confidence is painfully blur. For someone who had been in the international wilderness for five years, he should have grabbed this opportunity with both hands.

4. Emenike, Musa don’t do enough

For a team that was sprinkled with debutants and a lot of inexperienced heads, the more experienced players did not come to the party. Emmanuel Emenike was a bit average and did not link up play as well as he can. CSKA Moscow winger, Ahmed Musa, sparkled in bursts – and it was really more about his pace than end product.

5. Tanzania give good account of themselves

Most pundits expected the Eagles to impose themselves on their hosts and claim another routine victory in Dar es Salaam. That was not the case. Tanzania provided real threat all through the game and if not for Ikeme and some wayward finishing, they should have scored a goal or two, especially in the second half.

‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

All Eyes On Malabo For AFCON 2015 Draws Today

All eyes in Africa will be focussed on Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday as the capital of Malabo plays host to the draw for the Africa Cup of Nations just weeks after Morocco were stripped of the right to host the event.

The traditional ceremony to determine the group matchups for the January 17 to February 8 continental showpiece, was initially set for Rabat before Morocco asked for the tournament to be postponed because of the devastating Ebola outbreak which has cost nearly 7,000 lives in west Africa.

Morocco were instead not only stripped of the right to host the tournament but disqualified from the event as Equatorial Guinea, the third highest producer of petrol in Sub-Saharan Africa, stepped in at the final hour to save the day.

Equatorial Guinea, who co-hosted the 2012 event with Gabon, face a race against time to be ready with less than two months until kick-off, and the draw is set to unveil further indications of progress on preparations.

One aspect that hasn’t changed is the format with four groups of four teams drawn in a round-robin first round line-up shared between the cities of Malabo, Bata, Mongomo and Ebebiyin.

– Ivory Coast, Algeria the teams to avoid –

Ironically, Equatorial Guinea will be in the top seeded hat as hosts, just six months after the former Spanish colony were disqualified from qualifying after fielding an ineligible player during a preliminary round fixture against Mauritania.

They will joined, as one of the top four seeds, by four-time champions Ghana, 2012 African winners Zambia and the Ivory Coast.

The ‘Elephants’ of the Ivory Coast, who lost finals in 2006 and 2012 and also reached the semi-finals in 2008, remain a formidable force as the seedings were determined by previous CAN results.

Their glory teams of the past have undergone several changes in recent years as they turn to life without retired legend Didier Drogba and now lean on the coaching leadership of dashing Frenchman Herve Renard who led Zambia to their first title three years ago.

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Roma striker Gervinho are key players for the Ivory Coast with a strong cast of talent in place to support the 1992 champions.

Holders Nigeria and seven-time champions Egypt failed to qualify leaving Algeria the danger team from hat number two alongside 2013 finalists Burkina Faso, Mali and Tunisia.

The ‘Desert Foxes’ of Algeria reached the second round of the World Cup for the first time this year, and are chasing a second African title after their only success on home soil in 1990.

The country are enjoying a purple patch with top club ES Setif recently winning the African Champions League and the CAN providing a serious opportunity to increase their flourishing international reputation.

On paper, hat number four appears stronger than the third set of teams with former giants Senegal, Cameroon and Guinea joining the Congo while Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo complete the 16-nation line-up in pot three.

Cameroon, now without former captain Samuel Eto’o, failed to qualify in 2012 and 2013 which dropped their ranking while Senegal have failed to get past the first round since 2006.

The ‘Indomitable Lions’ of Cameroon, won the last of their four African titles in 2002, when they defeated a Senegal team making their lone appearance in the championship match.

2015 CAN draw:

Pot 1: Equatorial Guinea (hosts), Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia

Pot 2: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Tunisia

Pot 3: Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon, DR Congo

Pot 4: Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, Congo

Source – kokomansion.com

Keshi Is Responsible For AFCON Failure – Sunday Oliseh

Former Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh, has said Stephen Keshi should shoulder the blame for Nigeria’s failure to qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

Oliseh, writing in his blog, faulted Keshi’s constant line-up changes and failure to settle on his best 11 players, a situation he claimed made them not to play as a team.

”The uncoordinated way in which Super Eagles play, which triggered our recent elimination, is borne out of the fact that there were too much line-up changes.

“When you lack ‘raw’ quality in your team, you advocate and build success via team work, team play and a regular team to compensate for what you lack in individual quality,” Sl10.ng quoted Oliseh as saying in the blog.

He also lashed out at Keshi’s poor handling of his critics, saying not all those who criticise the out of contract Super Eagles coach are interested in his job.

“It is a crime to air your opinion, give advice or suggestions on how to better the Super Eagles without the handlers throwing insults at you or crying out that you seek their job,” he added.

“They probably do this because they got the job by back stabbing; hence they fail to understand that not everyone needs or wants to coach the Super Eagles.”

The outspoken Ex Juventus man, who is a licensed UEFA grade A coach, continued by saying Keshi and his technical crew lack the proper qualification requirements to lead a team like the Super Eagles, and that also means they were unable to achieve success in the long haul even though they won the AFCON in 2013.

“Most of us played football as kids, we all have an opinion or idea about football. This, however, leads some to think they are experts. This is not only wrong, but dangerous,” he continued.

“Should you want to be a top coach, you have to study and get yourself certified and even then you are not guaranteed success.

Source – www.thenationonlineng.net