Fury as ‘Indomitable Lions’ show up as tamable cubs

World Cup

Cameroon football fans follow their country’s World Cup match against Switzerland in Yaounde on November 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Ndi Eugene Ndi

What you need to know:

  • Fans gathered at Yaounde pubs pour frustrations on team coach Song

In Yaounde, Cameroon

There is visible frustration among fans of the Cameroon national football team here in the Cameroon capital, Yaounde, following the Indomitable Lions’ World Cup opening game’s 0-1 loss to Switzerland at the at Al Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, Qatar, on Thursday.

Over 50 supporters of the Indomitable Lions gathered at a drinking spot near the Government Bilingual High School Mbalngong, some 12 kilometres south west of the capital to watch the game with the hope of seeing their darling team win its first World Cup match in 20 years.

“I can bet Cameroon will be first African country to score at the World Cup in Qatar today,” one of the fans, who identified himself just as Cyrille, said at the start of the game.

Wake up from slumber

Even when Swiss attacker of Cameroonian decent, Breel Embolo, scored what was going to be the lone goal of the game for the Red Crosses of Switzerland at the 48th minute, Cyrille was still optimistic.

"The Lion will wake up from slumber now that they are a goal down" he said. His dream did not, however, come true as at the end of the five additional minutes of the second half, the scoreline was still 1-0 in favour of Switzerland.

Like Cyrille, many fans of the team who watched the game in the overcrowded bar expressed frustration over the outcome with some cursing the goalkeeper Andre Onana and others putting the blame on coach Rigobert Song for not including defender Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui in the squad. “Look at the careless goal. Onana (the Cameroon goalkeeper) dived to the right as if it was a penalty kick and the ball passed on the left into the net,” one of the fans said accusing the goalkeeper of always conceding goals in games.

“Onana always has a goal to concede in all matches whether at the club or international level, so I am not surprised he has conceded,” the fan who did not wish to identify himself said. Cameroon started the game dominating their opponents but coach Song’s charges failed to convert their scoring opportunities into goals.

Since they beat Saudi Arabia in a Group ‘E’ match at the 2002 World Cup, jointly hosted by Korea and Japan, Cameroon has not won any match again at the global football tournament.

Though disappointed as well with the outcome of the match, one of the supporters of the team and local football promoter, Nformi Eugene Tawe, said the performance of the team was impressive.

“The World Cup is the most competitive football jamboree that is why even players like Messi could not perform according to expectations in Qatar,” Tawe said.

The football lover and player said he is optimistic the Cameroon team can do better, “though it will not be easy, especially against Brazil,” he admitted.

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