FEATURE: Where did it go wrong for Cameroon?
Cameroon were eliminated from the group stages of the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, due to some significant factors.
After an exciting run in the qualifiers, this earned them a place on most football pundits’ 2015 ‘Afcon’ winner favorites list. But hardly did anyone know that, they will fail to win a match in Equatorial Guinea like they did in Brazil.
The Indomitable Lions failed to live up to expectation due to some vital reasons, which have become mistakes. All departments of the team contributed to this tragedy, which has shocked the football fraternity.
First of all their defence wasn’t as organized as it was during the qualifiers, when they conceded only one goal in six matches. Their back line went on to concede three goals during three games in the main tournament.
This therefore shows that captain Mbia’s disappearance from the defence was greatly missed. Even though he wasn’t bad in midfield, his organizational leadership was missed this time round. Not forgetting goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa’s heroic displays which earned him five clean sheets in the qualifiers. He failed to replicate this record during the major competition, by conceding a goal in all three group games.
Furthermore, a solid midfield that was built around Eyong Enoh during the qualifiers lost its ground. This is because of a knee injury the defensive midfielder suffered in their first game against Mali. The injury kept Enoh from featuring for his side in the tournament again. He shielded the defenders of his team very well in the qualifiers. His absence was really felt as their midfield and defence failed to connect effectively.
Moreover, the inability of Vincent Aboubakar to rise up to the occasion was also a problem for the Central African side. After scoring four of Cameroon’s nine goals in the qualifiers and his exciting form at club level made him a key player for his national side. Aboubakar failed to even find the back of the net in Equatorial Guinea. And also his performance wasn’t the best, as the attacking front of his team failed to flourish.
Coach Volker Finke cannot be left out of his side’s failure to even go pass the group stage as his tactical selection was bad. This can be seen by leaving Clinton Njie out of his starting line-up in all the matches. Njie featured in all of the qualifiers and scored twice. A decision Finke may now regret.
by Patrick Ansah