CAN INDOMITABLE LIONS ROAR BACK?
By: Lungelo Ngcamu
After a disastrous World Cup in South Africa, Cameroon head to Brazil next month hoping to salvage their pride.
The West Central African nation had an early exit in 2010 after losing all of their three games. In fact, out of six World Cup appearances, they have managed to advance to knockout stages once, in 1990. Since then, they have not been able to find their rhythm.
The four-time African Cup of Nation champions made their World Cup debut in 1982. The Indomitable Lions was 1 of the 10 CAF countries to play the continental play-offs last year. They booked a ticket to the World Cup after seeing off Tunisia 4-1on aggregate.
Cameroon striking sensation Samuel Eto’o, Barcelona’s Alexandre Song and Stephane Mbia from Sevilla have work on their shoulders to ensure their nation restore their pride.
Their chances to make it to the next round look slim. It won’t be an easy tournament as they are housed with the hosts Brazil, Mexico and Croatia in Group A.
Speaking to Reuters news agency, coach Volker Finke said, “I’m working on the team spirit and to find a solid unit where all have to provide each other spirit and the team. I support everyone, I encourage individuals but it must be to serve the collective. You can be individualistic but not selfish.”
Cameroon has set three friendly games to prepare themselves for the most coveted football tournament. Finke’s men will play Macedonia and Paraguay in friendlies on May 26 and 29, and before meet Germany on June 1.
They will kick-off their World Cup campaign against Mexico on June 13 where they have to collect maximum points to boost their confidence.
“Against Mexico, it is clear that we want to win, so we have to master a way to be very offensive against them without allowing them the opportunity to play us on the counter attack. We must know how to control the pace of the game,” Finke was quoted as saying on Reuters.
They have a tough task ahead of them, although many of their players have experience and are playing in major leagues.
It’s very difficult to predict the position where Finke’s boys can finish but nevertheless with their experienced squad, they can make a big surprise.