CAIRO - Two derbies will add spice to the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 as Nigeria and Cameroon renew their often bitter rivalry while Ivory Coast face a Mali side who have done a lot of catching up on their neighbours recently.
Nigeria and Cameroon do not meet that often - tomorrow’s match in Alexandria will be their 23rd clash - but the sparks tend to fly when they do, especially as three of those matches have been in AFCON finals with Cameroon winning all of them.
The Super Eagles were furious in the 1988 final when Henry Nwosu had a goal disallowed in a match Cameroon won 1-0.
Twelve years later, the two played an epic final in Lagos when Nigeria hit back from two goals behind to draw 2-2, only to lose 4-3 on penalties. However, replays showed that Victor Ikpeba’s missed spot kick for Nigeria should have been allowed because the ball crossed the line after hitting the bar.
Overall, Cameroon have won 11 of the 22 matches to Nigeria’s four although the Super Eagles qualified for last year’s World Cup at their rivals’ expense after a 4-0 win at home and 1-1 draw away.