AFCON 2024: 3 Super Eagles strategies Peseiro must adopt for Nigeria to defeat Cameroon

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be engaging the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in a crucial AFCON 2024 Round of 16 clash at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny on Saturday.

With both sides placing second in their respective groups, a place in the quarter-final is very much up for grabs and this makes for a thrilling affair.

Cameroon secured qualification in a dramatic way as Christopher Wooh's late winner saved the five-time champions from an early exit, and the pressure on manager Rigobert Song has been ramped up a notch ahead of the clash with the Super Eagles.

There is also a growing train of thought amongst a section of Nigerian fans that Jose Peseiro's tactics are outdated.

We take a look at three strategies Peseiro will have to consider if he is to win this Nigeria vs Cameroon clash.

Super Eagles must start quickly

The ability to start games on the front foot has been a significant factor in the success of the top teams in the ongoing tournament. The Super Eagles need to make a strong start and assert control of the game before the opposition has a chance to settle.

That's something they've struggled with recently, as Peseiro's side has often failed to score in the first half of most of their games. The energy and intensity that has been the hallmark of the Super Eagles since the days of yore has dipped and they need to get that back on Saturday night.

The Super Eagles' best 45-minute performance in their recent outings came in the matchday two fixture against Ivory Coast at AFCON 2024. They dominated the Ivorians throughout the first half, constantly pinning them in and around their penalty area.

Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Though, that wonderful performance didn't translate into goals, they got a goal right after the interval. A repeat of that first-half performance is exactly what the Super Eagles need this time around.

They have to start fast and not allow Cameroon to settle.

Super Eagles must exploit the Cameroon wide areas

Something that makes the Super Eagles even more effective is their strong play on the flanks. With it anticipated that Nigeria's best opportunities against Cameroon will be on the counter-attack, the pace and skill of their wingers will be crucial.

The Indomitable Lions have two full-backs who love to go forward, with Enzo Tchato on the right and Darlin Yongwa on the left.

So, when the Super Eagles do break down attacks and win the ball back, it will be important for them to exploit the spaces behind the pair in transition.

Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Fortunately, the Super Eagles have a great crop of wingers who can do this – either from the start or off the bench. Ademola Lookman is one with the street smarts, an experienced, clever footballer whose work rate is as impressive as his creativity.

Moses Simon and Ahmed Musa could also contribute their wealth of experience. Samuel Chwukueze is that promising youngster whose talent is a little raw and still being refined but is explosive, fearless and full of quality.

Nigeria must show patience

Something that applies to the Super Eagles is the importance of patience. It will be more when they are out of possession. The Super Eagles are happy to play on the counter, which will suit them in this fixture, but it is imperative that they do not get frustrated at spending larger amounts of time without the ball than usual.

Georges Nkoudou @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon Sport

It is especially important for when they do get the ball, for it'll be crucial for them to make the right decisions and not force things, as Cameroon will win the ball back and, in transition, they can be deadly with their wide players like Georges-Kévin Nkoudou and Karl Toko Ekambi.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.