Nigeria V Cameroon: Super Eagles Start Life Without Enyeama
Nigeria are aiming to put a turbulent week behind them when they face Cameroon in Sunday’s friendly at Edmond Machtens Stadium.
Captain and star goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama declared this week that he was bringing his 13-year international career to an end, following a dispute with head coach Sunday Oliseh over the str*pp*ng of his captaincy.
The 33-year-old had been granted an extended period of leave following the death of his mother, though Oliseh was quick to deny that any confrontation had been caused by the matter.
Oliseh told Brila FM that the news of Enyeama’s retirement was “very sad” but Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has urged the team to look to the future after they were beaten 2-0 by DR Congo in a friendly on Thursday.
“There is no time for us to dwell on this defeat. We were not at the last Africa Cup of Nations finals, but the Congolese were there and finished the tournament as bronze medal-winners,” he said in a message via the NFF’s website.
“It is not an excuse to lose to them. But it is a fact. However, I have no doubt in your ability to turn things around when we play Cameroon on Sunday. That means you need to put this defeat behind you and focus hard on Sunday’s match.”
Wolves’ Carl Ikeme played in the loss to DR Congo but question marks remain over whether Oliseh will experiment with his line-up in Sunday’s friendly.
Cameroon themselves head into the encounter – which was moved ahead to 20.00BST (8pm) due to security reasons – with selection problems of their own.
Forward Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, his Schalke team-mate Joel Matip and midfielder Eyong Enoh are all expected to miss the match in Brussels with fitness concerns.
Cameroon have prevailed in their last two internationals – both in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying – by a solitary goal, and will be looking to continue their winning momentum as they prepare for competitive internationals in the African Nations Championship and World Cup qualifying over the next month.
Nigeria, by contrast. have won just twice in 2015 and are desperate to receive a mor*le boost prior to their meeting with Burkina Faso next week.