Do the Super Eagles and the Indomitable Lions Look Better Than The rest?
Afcon 2021 has so far been filled with some amazing victories, some not-so-great performances, and surely some adrenaline-pumping moments. But two teams that seem to be outshining all others this year are Nigeria and Cameroon.
The Super Eagles and the Indomitable Lions have both consistently delivered significantly better performances than other teams this year. Defending champions Algeria were defeated by Sierra Leone in one of the biggest upsets in Afcon history, 7-time Afcon winners Egypt seem like they have some catching up to do and Senegal have only managed a single score this year. Ghana’s Black Stars haven’t won a single Afcon match this year and are now out of the tournament.
But Nigeria and Cameroon have both performed brilliantly in their Afcon fixtures this year. The Super Eagles have won all of their Round 1 matches, proving themselves to be a far superior team than pre-tournament predictions had suggested. Keeping in mind that they had several ups and downs during the preparation stage such as changes in coaching, players catching COVID-19 and injury troubles, they sure deserve credit for coming out stronger than expected.
Cameroon too have had their fair share of troubles. They were defeated by Cape Verde in 2021, which was a major disappointment for the team. Moreover, their failure to secure Joel Matip before the Afcon Cup was another setback that suggested low confidence levels.
However, both teams have pleasantly surprised fans by overcoming these obstacles with impressive resilience and now seem to be the two top contenders for the final.
With the Afcon knockout round starting on Sunday, Nigera will be in for one of the most significant games of the season as their performance could set the tone for the rest of the tournament. We expect the Super Eagles to face a tough next stage with the possibility of being paired with Tunisia, Senegal or Algeria for a spot in the quarterfinals.