08 - 10
By Guillaume Mahot
It is not really a big surprise when you look at the last world cup editions, but it is confirmed since yesterday: Nigeria will participate in the upcoming World Cup in Russia. Premier League players Victor Moses (Chelsea) and Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) were decisive against 2012 CAN winner Zambia. The latter scored for the 1-0, final score and no matter what happens in the last game of November, it will not change a thing.
And yet, things were not expected to be that simple in a group composed of Cameroon, the last winner of the African Cup of Nations 2017, Zambia, whose players won it five years ago with Hervé Renard, and Algeria, another big team of the continent. Nigeria was at a high level but the other squads were disappointing. With one single point, Algeria goes out without glory but many questions are raised, at first who should be coach.
Cameroon did not confirm after their African coronation in February: they first collapsed in the last Cup of Confederations, and then now end up missing the World Cup. Present in South Africa in 2010 and in Brazil in 2014, Vincent Aboubakar and his teammates will not be part of the Russian competition this time. The victory of yesterday, 2-0 against Algeria, was more for prestige and honor than anything else.
Eliminated by France (who won 1-0 in Bulgaria yesterday and should be part of the tournament as well) in 8th final in 2014, Nigeria, led by Moses, Iwobi or Mikel, will defend the African colors with Tunisia probably, who won 4-1 in Guinea yesterday.