Africa: Can Cameroon Stop Nigeria?

Nigeria have had an almost vice-like grip on the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations but will face determined hosts Cameroon in today’s final...


Nigeria have had an almost vice-like grip on the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations but will face determined hosts Cameroon in today’s final.
Nigeria, or the Super Falcons, face Cameroon, also known as the Indomitable Lionesses, today in Yaounde (14:30 BST) in a repeat of the 2014 final in Namibia, which the Nigerians won 2-0.
Nigeria are the favourites on Saturday and, despite facing a very vocal home crowd, their coach and former captain Florence Omagbemi is in upbeat mood.
“Mentally, physically, psychologically, we are ready for the game on Saturday,” she says. “We have experienced players that can deal with any situation.”
Omagbemi has reason to be confident. Her team are the top scorers, with Arsenal’s Asisat Oshoala claiming six of their 12 goals.
Cameroon have yet to win the tournament but their defence has been rock solid in this edition and they are yet to concede a goal. Scoring has been trickier, though. Despite dominating games, their finishing has been poor.
Their big star is 24-year-old striker Gaelle Enganamouit. Her face adorns many billboards but the 2016 BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year nominee is just back from a lengthy injury and is yet to find the net in this tournament.
“She’s had so much pressure on her,” says Ngoh. “She really wants to score and when she doesn’t you can see her frustration. She knows the public are willing her to score. When it doesn’t happen, it adds to the pressure.”
The top tournament for international women’s football in Africa, it was first held in 1991, when teams competed for the trophy over several months. It was the same format in 1995.
Since 1998, however, it has been held as a tournament every two years, with eight teams taking part. Cameroon is hosting this one, the 10th edition.
Teams are divided into two groups of four, with the top two sides advancing straight to the semi-finals.
Cameroon, who have never won the competition, qualified as hosts and were joined by Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt, debutants Kenya and Mali, who replaced Equatorial Guinea after they were disqualified for fielding a player using fraudulent documents.
Nigeria are the continent’s dominant force. Only one other nation, Equatorial Guinea, has won this tournament, coming out on top in both 2008 and 2012.

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News Africa: Africa: Can Cameroon Stop Nigeria?
Africa: Can Cameroon Stop Nigeria?
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