The game is finally here. This is the day many Nigerians and Cameroonians have been waiting for and it promises a lot for the victorious side. There are three points at stake, but a win for Nigeria will all but stamp the Super Eagles' ticket to the Russia 2018 World Cup. A Super Eagles' victory will take Nigeria to nine points, meaning the team only need one more win to cement their place in Russia.
Cameroon on the other hand needs to get at least a draw and beat Nigeria in the reverse fixture in Yaoundé to get within one point of their adversaries.
Yesterday at a meeting with the Super Eagles, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel reminded them of the significance of the game scheduled for the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
Emmanuel, who promised to give the team $10,000 for every goal they score against Cameroon, redeemed the $30,000 he promised the Eagles for the three goals they scored against Algeria in the earlier match. He also promised to mobilise support for the team to ensure total victory over the Indomitable Lions.
Udom told the players, "We are here because there is nothing as good as appreciating people, especially when the people are working for the general good. A love not expressed is a love wasted and so we are here to tell you that we appreciate what you are doing for Nigeria.
"I also want to tell you that no matter how wild a cat is, there is a place you will hold it and it will not be able to harm you. Go there and win the game for us."
Speaking for the players, Skipper John Obi Mikel apologized to Nigerians for the loss to South Africa in the Nations Cup qualifier, assuring that they are here to make amends.
He said the team have been training hard for the game and would show Nigerians that they are hungry to be at the World Cup.
Mikel, who debuted at the World Cup two years ago in Brazil, revealed that the team are united in the quest to beat Cameroon, saying a win today would help them actualize that dream.
"I think the players know what is at stake here. The players always know what the task ahead is all about despite winning our opening games. We want to go to the World Cup. We have to win games and make sure we are focused all the time and also play well. The truth is you can't play well in every game; a win is a win.
"We just want to win... it doesn't matter how well we play. I am sure the players all know that is the important thing and I always speak to some of them and let them know how important it is to play for this country and how important it is to go to the World Cup and the Nations Cup. So on Friday(today), we can hopefully get a win and move close to qualifying for the World Cup," Mikel said.
Also speaking on the game, midfielder, Moses Simon admitted that Cameroon could be a tough nut to crack, adding, however, that every danger has a solution.
"We were not at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon when Cameroon won the trophy but we have respect for them as the African champions.
"The important thing is that we must win and get the points that will take us closer to Russia," he said.
Some of the players revealed that they have been conditioned by the NFF to put in their best and promised to reciprocate that gesture by getting at least four points from the two matches against Cameroon.
Apart from the payment of outstanding match bonuses and other entitlements, the players revealed that they are camped in a cozy, but secluded hotel, where they are allowed to relax after training sessions without disturbance by fans.
The players also have special security operatives guarding them in and outside the camp and training ground, as they get ready for the task of taming Cameroon.
The match holds by 5.00 p.m.