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Cameroon’s AFCON 2023 Campaign Hangs On A Balance

By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo

Cameroon finds itself at a critical juncture in their AFCON 2023 campaign as they prepare to face Gambia at Stade de Bouaké on Match Day 3. With just one point from their first two games in Group C, Cameroon’s hopes of advancing to the round of 16 hang on securing a victory in this crucial encounter.

The reigning champions of the 2017 AFCON have had a challenging start to the tournament, drawing with Guinea before suffering a defeat against Senegal. Failing to secure a win in this upcoming match would likely extinguish their chances of progressing further in the competition.

This will mark the second meeting between Gambia and Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations, following their clash in the quarterfinals of the 2022 edition. On that occasion, Cameroon emerged triumphant with a 2-0 victory, courtesy of two goals from the talented Karl Toko-Ekambi. Gambia, on the other hand, has struggled against Cameroon in the past, losing all three previous encounters without managing to find the back of the net while conceding five goals.

Gambia’s recent form in the AFCON has been less than ideal. After remaining unbeaten in their first four games in the tournament, winning three and drawing one, they have endured a string of three consecutive losses without scoring a single goal. Meanwhile, Cameroon has also faced challenges, going winless in their last four AFCON matches with three draws and one defeat. This represents their longest winless streak in the competition since 2017.

Defensively, Cameroon has shown vulnerability in the group stage, conceding four goals in their two AFCON 2023 matches. This already surpasses their tally from the entire group stage of the 2010 edition, where they conceded five goals. In their most recent match, Cameroon suffered a 3-1 defeat against Senegal, ending a remarkable streak of 10 consecutive AFCON group-stage matches without a loss. The Indomitable Lions have not experienced back-to-back losses in the group stage since 1990.

Gambia, on the other hand, has struggled to find the back of the net in recent AFCON matches. They have failed to score in their last 24 attempts, with their last goal coming from Musa Barrow against Guinea in January 2022. In the current tournament, Gambia has managed only two shots on target out of 19 attempts, resulting in a mere 11 percent accuracy rate.

As Cameroon and Gambia prepare to clash in this crucial encounter, it is evident that both teams are facing their own set of challenges. For Cameroon, a victory is imperative to keep their AFCON 2023 campaign alive, while Gambia aims to break their goal drought and secure their first win of the tournament. The stakes are high, and football fans around the world eagerly await the outcome of this decisive match.

Credit Photo : CAF

AFCON 2023: Song Confident Ahead Of Cameroon’s Crucial Encounter Agaisnt Senegal

By Etienne Mengnjo Mainimo

Ahead of a crucial match between Cameroon and Senegal, Coach Rigobert Song has maintained his confidence in the team’s readiness to prove their point in the second group match of the ongoing 34th edition of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.

During a pre-match press conference, Song stressed the importance of finishing and stated that the upcoming match against the defending champions would be a significant challenge for the Cameroon national team.

“Tomorrow, there will be some good things. Matches come and go, but they’re never the same. We’re aware of that. My players and I are confident. It can be done. We believe in it,” expressed Rigobert Song.

Regarding the line-up for the match against the Terranga Lions, the Cameroonian coach believes that a winger will be included in the starting line-up. He further stated, “Tomorrow, you’ll have a team of 11, and everyone will be in their position.”

Cameroon faces an uphill battle as they aim to bounce back after their disappointing 1-1 draw against Guinea in the first group match. Football experts suggest that Cameroon must secure a victory to keep their dreams of qualifying for the second round alive.

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Rigobert Song Replaces Conceicao As Indomitable Lions’ Coach

By Etienne Mainimo

Rigobert Song Bahanag, former Cameroon center back and former professional football player has been appointed head coach of the Cameroon national team, the Indomitable Lions.

According to a communique signed by the Minister of Sport and Physical Education, Prof. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi on February 28, the entire technical staff under the leadership of Coach Conceicao has been replaced.

Before his appointment, Song Bahanag was the coach of the Cameroon U-23 National Team.

Sebastien Migne, coach of French Football League will assist Song Bahanag.

Raymond Kalla was also appointed as the team manager while Augustine Simo is the assistant coach.

Souleymanou is the goalkeeper coach while Raphael Fevre and David Baltaze will serve as a physical trainer and video analyst.

Songs appointment ends the 29 months service at the end of the Indomitable Lions. His appointment is coming days after the Minister of Sports during a program over the State broadcaster, CRTV said, there was no need to replace the coach. His outing this day according to sports pundits is a sign of confusion.

The emblematic former captain of the lions, Song Bahanag played at a record eight Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and served as a captain in five of them. Song holds the record of most consecutive games played in the tournament with 35 first-team games.

With 137 appearances, Song also holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Cameroon national team and has played in four World Cups.

Aside from Zinedine Zidane, Song is the only player to have been sent off in two different World Cups, once against Brazil in 1994 and against Chile in 1998. He also holds the record as the youngest player ever to be sent off in a World Cup, aged 17.

The appointment comes barely a month to the last and final round qualifier for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Many think the game against Algeria will be a litmus test for Rigobert Song.

Cameroon third place

AFCON 2021: Aboubakar Helped Lions Fight Back To Claim Third Position

By Etienne Mainimo

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have finished at the third position of the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.

Cameroon came from three goals down to beat Burkina Faso in the third place match at the Amadou Ahidjo Stadium on February 5.

A goal from Stephane Bahoken and two goals from the team captain Vincent Aboubakar who came in the second half balanced the score for Cameroon 3-3. The three goals were scored some 19 minutes to the end of the match.

Meanwhile, starting the game, the Stallions of Burkina Faso took the lead scoring their three goals in the first half, forcing some supporters to leave the stadium. The low-key play turned the fans against the team and they started supporting the opponents.

Supporter booed Andre Onana who conceded three goals, one own goal with the hand.

But before openly showing anger against Andre Onana, the supporter booed each time Harold Moukoudi touched the ball, a spill over from the penalty he missed against Egypt.

Cameroon’s woes came from a lackluster team coach Antonio Conceicoa aligned in the first half with only Andre Onana and Oum Gouet starting the game. All the other players against Egypt were on the bench.

The second half changes with Aboubakar Vincent and Karl Toko Ekambi stepping in changed the game.

Stephane Bahoken reduced score at the 71 minute only for Aboubakar to rekindle in the supporters in 19 minutes for the two teams to draw level.

Unlike the game against Egypt the players all score their penalties and Onana stopped a shot from Burkina Faso.

Interviewed by the national television Aboubakar said, “On behalf of all my teammates, I would like to thank the President of the Republic, the Government, the President of the Federation, the Cameroonian public, (…). Life is a fight. Soccer is mental. The most important thing is to win. We are a team. Some things, we will see internally. I spoke to my teammates. We have to leave the controversies behind and build a great team for the future.”

Vincent Aboubakar’s eight goals at #AFCON2021 is the second-most at a single Africa Cup of Nations in the tournament’s history.

9- Ndaye Mulamba, the Zaire in 1974

8- Laurent Pokou from Ivory Coast in 1970

8- Vincent Aboubakar from Cameroon 2021

Aboubakar Vincent has secured a golden goal.

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AFCON 2021: Cameroon vs Egypt, A Tale Of Supremacy, Revenge

By Etienne Mainimo

Cameroon and Egypt will on Thursday, February 3, face each other in the semi-finals of the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON going on in Cameroon.

The two-nations will march each other in what is considered the final before the finals. In the hearts of both supporters, there is fear and uncertainty on what will be the outcome of the match when the final whistle is sounded at the Olembe Stadium.

Given the tension that has existed between these two nations, there is no doubt that besides the supremacy and tension raising in the background, beautiful football is expected to centre stage.

So far, in the competition, Egypt is led by an inspirational Mohammed Salah who seems to be kicking into action, at the moment that the tournament has entered its climax stage.

For their part, Cameroon is spearheaded by a sensational striker Vincent Aboubakar who has been one of the very best players in the entire competition, scoring the most number of goals.

Aboubakar is closely followed by Karl Toko Ekambi with five goals.

The story of Thursday’s match is going to be unique given that there is probability that the game will extend into extra time.

Both sides have met in 27 matches but Egypt has maintained it domination winning 15 of them and losing only six times. The last time they faced each other was in the 2017 AFCON. The Indomitable Lions pulled off a 2-1 victory over the Pharaohs.

While Cameroon’s holds the most recent record of 17 home games in all competitions consisting of no losses, Egypt in their last 26 games in all competitions, has recorded 24 undefeated matches.

In all competitions, Cameroon has recorded no loss in 24 of their most recent 26 home games. The indomitable lions have also had a period of 15 straight home games without a defeat.

However, knowing that Cameroon has kept a clean sheet throughout this competition and Egypt has passed through thick and thin to arrive at the semi-finals, there is more than watching the game on Thursday.

Cameroon Coach Antonio Conceicao

AFCON 2021: “Against Gambia, The Objective Is To Win” – Cameroon Coach

By Etienne Mainimo

Cameroon coach, Antonio Conceiçao has made it clear that when the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon meet the Gambia in the quarter-final match scheduled for Saturday, January 29 in Douala, the only objective will be to harvest victory.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Conceiçao even though the Gambians will put the Cameroon team in great difficulties like they did with their previous opponents, they will work towards victory which is guaranteed.

“We’ll do everything to win this game. We know that the Gambians will put us in great difficulties like they did with their previous opponents. They are a quality team as they work as a block. I know they will play low and do counter attacks,” Conceiçao said.

“…Against Gambia, the objective is to win. We are a playful team that likes to take the game on its own. Against us. there will be a team that defends well and has 5-6 high-quality attacking players. Everything is possible even if we only consider victory,” he added.

Jean Charles Castelleto Cameroon’s defender who attended the presser maintained, “…We have had a good run so far and against Gambia, the objective remains victory. We will play against a good team.”