Category: Junior Lions


Cameroon will play against Mexico in the round of 16 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Columbia after they defeated Uruguay 1-0 to finish as runners-up in Group B on Friday.

Their coach Martin Ndtoungou, by the same token maintains his little-known record of being part of the coaching staff of every Cameroon national team that has crossed the first round of an international (non-African) competition since 2000.

Cameroon Football Fans

He was Jean Paul Akono’s assistant when Cameroon won Olympic Gold in Sydney (2000) and Winfried Schaeffer’s number 2 when Cameroon reached the final of the FIFA confederations Cup and lost to a Thierry Henri golden goal in 2003.

He led the fine pride of U-23 Lions that reached the quarter-finals of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 (only to lose to Ronaldinho’s Brazil); and now he has taken this set of cubs to the knock-out stage of the World Cup.

Successful Tactical Switch

It wasn’t an easy ride. The coach had to make a few changes after the team drew (1-1 with New Zealand) and lost (0-1 to Portugal) in its opening two games.

He changed his tactics from a flat 4-4-2 to a diamond midfield (4-1-3-2) with just one holding midfielder Frank Kom and a playmaker (engache) Emmanuel Mbongo Ewangue operating behind two strikers: Frank Ohandza and Christ Mbondi.

The passing was haphazard and sloppy at the start of the game. However, the flexibility of Ndtoungou’s tactics – which permitted the team to shift into a 4-2-1-3 with an attacking threesome of Mbondi (wide left) Ohandza (centre) and Yazid Atouba (wide right) supported by Mbongo –  delivered the goods as Mbongo scored the lone goal of the game from a cross by Mbondi in the 28th minute of play.

Eyewitnesses say after the game the team exploded with joy.

“Players singing and dancing some even shouting at the top of their voices,” Simon Lyonga, CRTV’s envoy in Columbia told me. “It shows that they too badly needed the win and the second round ticket,” he added when we had a debrief shortly after the game.

But Lyonga, who represented Cameroon at youth level and has covered several international competitions as a reporter, was quick to warn against any complacency saying the team must focus on the challenges to come against Mexico and forget the euphoria of beating Uruguay.

And he’s right.

Could be better

There was victory over Uruguay but creativity remains a weakness in the team with too many hopeful balls from the goalkeeper to the attackers.

The fact that Ndtoungou Mpile has changed formations in every game and tested several players as playmaker shows he is worried.

Mbongo and Herve Mbega alternated as playmakers against Uruguay while Clarence Bitang often confused playmaking with irrelevant flicks and dribbles which ended with Cameroon  losing possession when he held the role against Portugal. (He came on as a substitute against Uruguay).

Will Ndtoungou continue with his diamond/4-2-1-3 formations which require a quality ‘engache’ or will he return to his favoured flat 4-4-2 with two holding midfielders?

Learn how to score

Then there is the small (but important) matter of scoring goals. The Junior Lions have made it to the round of 16 with only 2 goals scored (we can’t tally their own goal for New Zealand!).

But someone has to teach Frank Ohandza how to score a goal! He must stop missing like he did at the 25th, 35th, 66th, and 70th minutes when  gaffes by the Uruguay keeper and defence gifted him with scoring opportunities that he wasted.

Ndtoungou and his assistant, Engelbert Mbarga, must be cursing the European clubs that refused to allow sharp-shooters like Jacques Zoua Dogari (FC Basel, Switzerland) and Vincent Aboubakar (Rennes, France) from joining the squad.

The coaches can only imagine how Shalke midfielder Joel Matip’s clean interceptions and his eye for a forward pass and Monaco’s Edgar Sali’s technique and penetrative skills could have been useful to unlock defences. But they are both absent as well.

Ndtoungou has shown in this competition and in the past (All Africa Games, Olympics and African Youth Championships) that he knows how to blend the (little talented) players at his disposal to make winning teams. Let’s see if his science will work against Mexico.

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Martin Ndtoungou, the head coach of Cameroon’s U-20 national team surely knows a thing or two about crossing the group phase of world tournaments. He has been part of the coaching staff of every Cameroon team that has crossed the first round of an international (non-continental) competition since 2000.

He was Jean Paul Akono’s assistant when Cameroon won Olympic Gold in Sydney (2000) and Winfried Schaeffer’s number 2 when Cameroon reached the final of the FIFA confederations Cup and lost to a Thierry Henri golden goal in 2003.

He then became the last coach to qualify a Cameroon national team to the knock out stage of an international competition when his pride of U-23 Lions reached the quarter-finals of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 (only to lose to Ronaldinho’s Brazil).

But his awesome record is in jeopardy.

His Cameroon team may be booted out of the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup on Friday if they do not defeat Uruguay in their last group game. They have dominated ball possession, shots on goal (and on target) and all other statistics but they have lacked creativity and their finishing is awful. Their only goal in Columbia has been from the penalty spot (Christ Mbondi actually missed the kick and scored from a rebound).

Whereas their defence seemed to be their strength at the Africa Cup in South Africa it is part of their frailties now. The right-back Serge Tchaha scored an own-goal to hand New Zealand a draw while central defenders Ghislain Mvom Beyo and Yaya Banana jumbled things to allow Portugal score their lone and winning goal.

That is hardly comforting ahead of a clash with a Uruguay team that showed creative promise in their game against New Zealand. They controlled play throughout the first half but were denied goals by the fantastic Oceania goalkeeper. After they conceded a brilliant goal, the young Celeste piled pressure with swift movement and short-passing.

Adrian Luna, their diminutive playmaker (1.69m) is one to watch tonight along with Matias Vecino (a sort of relay midfielder) and Camilo Mayada (who marshals their right flank). Their huge striker Cesar Texeira often gets involved by dropping into the hole between midfield and attack (as if he were a false nine) dragging central defenders and creating space for midfield runners.

The team elegantly switches from a back 4 to a back 3 with their full-backs, especially Captain Diego Polenta, displaying pace, technique and precision as very attacking wingbacks.

Can Ndtoungou weave magic out of his tactical hat to prevent Cameroon from losing against Uruguay tonight?

He seems to have planned his team to play in a diamond formation tonight with just one holding midfielder Frank Kom and a playmaker (engache) Mbongo Ewangue operating behind two strikers: Frank Ohandza and Christ Mbondi. Yazid Atouba and Herve Mbega are expected to alternate on the left and right flanks.

This is quite a bold move and demonstrates that the coach is aware his team lacks creativity and penetration from the centre. He had attempted a similar pattern 4-3-1-2 which often morphed into a 4-2-1-3   with Canon Yaounde’s Clarence Bitang as a playmaker in both formations against Portugal but that didn’t work.

I have my reservations about Bitang’s quality and am quite happy to see him starting on the bench tonight. But he wasn’t the only one who was at fault against Portugal.

The wide players didn’t do enough defensive cover while the central midfielders Kom and Nyantchou often seemed lost (not knowing whether to cover their central defenders or their rather attacking full-backs) during Portuguese counterattacks.

Hopefully, the coaches have fixed that weakness and have warned their youngsters that 4-4-2 diamond requires high physical fitness levels for the midfielders and full-backs that have to keep shuttling back and forth.

I must admit that it is rare to see Ndtoungou playing with one holding midfielder. He believes in building strong, compact, disciplined teams. He usually sets out his teams in a flat 4-4-2 relying on wide players to feed his strikers. He must have been irked by the output so far to go bust as it seems.

It would be interesting to see if he maintains that shape. It could be that one of his options is to switch to a 3-5-2 when Uruguay change to a back 3 as they often did against New Zealand. That may explain why he has selected the versatile Idriss Nguessi at right-back ahead of Tchaha.

Whatever the formations – his team must score goals today to survive.  His record of always making it out of a group phase is also at stake.

Cameroon’s U-20  national football team reached the final of the African Youth Championship where they lost to Nigeria on Sunday. At a time when most of the country’s national teams are faltering, it is easy for fans to be carried away by euphoria.

Cameroon supporters welcome Lions in Dakar on 24 March 2011, GF

Yes, the team was generally good – tactically well organised, disciplined, athletic and rigorous under the masterful leadership of Martin Ndtoungou Mpile.

Their primary objective was to qualify for the U-20 World Cup, which they did. In the process, they reached the final of the Africa Youth Championship (a secondary objective) and did their utmost to try to win it.

NO CREATIVITY

It is a functional team with Cameroon’s  trademark  mental strength and  fighting spirit (evident in their come-back in the final against Nigeria). They certainly made Cameroon media and fans happy via their victories.

However, a youth team is not essentially about winning; it is often about development.

For years now, Cameroon has had problems producing creative and skilful attackers, offensive midfielders and wingers. Unfortunately, this team did not reveal players who could potentially supplement the deficiencies of the senior teams in such departments.

Did we see  a potential Samuel Eto’o , Patrick Mboma and (I dare-say) Roger Milla in that Junior national squad in South Africa? No. The team was not clinical in-front of goal. They relied on set-plays (free-kicks and corners) to score except in the final when they had their backs to the wall.

The most promising striker was Ohandza Zoa. He has a good work rate, partcipates in defensive duties but he must improve his first touch, his positioning, the timing of his runs and his finishing. To his credit he did score two goals whereas the likes of  Jacques Haman, Toko Edimo and Tageu were woeful in this aspect.

In the 80s and 90s,  Louis Paul Mfede, Djonkep Bonaventure, Ernest Ebongue dazzled defenders on the African continent (and even on the world stage) with their displays on the flanks. Since they retired we have struggled on the wings with the notable exception of the period when Salomon Olembe and/or Lauren Etame Mayer – used their speed and power to outpace opponents.

Did we see new wingers from the junior team that competed in South Africa? Not quite.

Cotonsport Garoua’s Edgar Salli, who was used on the left and right flanks,  was surely Cameroon’s most brilliant player at this tournament. He seemed to be the best crosser of the ball (from open and set play). Yet he looked laboured at times and gave the impression of being a relay midfielder who had been stuck on the wing because there was no one else capable of doing the job.

In many ways,  Salli reminded me of Geremi Njitap who could play on the flanks but was originally (and naturally) a N°8. There was little to write home about the others who played on the wings.

MORE DEFENSIVE TALENT

Whereas the likes of Theophile Abega, Gregoire Mbida (Arantes), Tokoto, and (if we stretch it) Cyrille Makanaky used to weave creative magic in the middle of the pack to link to attackers, such players have gradually disappeared from our national teams. The closest we’ve seen since include Simo Augustine (in the late 1990s) , Marcus Mokake (who never succeeded to encrust himself to the team), Daniel Ngom Kome and Achille Emana (who dribbles but finds it hard to be effective).

Did we see people capable of holding the ball, creating the chance and make the right passes to Samuel Eto’o, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Vincent Aboubakar or even Ohandza in the future? No.

As noted repeatedly on this blog, the Junior Lions passed the ball well from defence to midfield; they effectively harried their opponents and recuperated the ball but the transmission in the final third of the field was awful.

In effect,  the best players in this Junior Lions  squad were the central defenders (Yaya Banana and Mvom Meyo), and the central midfielders (Eric Nyantchou and Frank Kom)  which follows a common pattern in the past 10-15 years : physical, athletic, never-say-die central midfielders and central defenders.

They will add to the dozen or more people who are currently ahead of them: Stephane Mbia, Nicolas Nkoulou, Sébastien Bassong, André Bikey, Enoh Eyong, Aurelien Chedjou, Georges Mandjeck, Jean Makoun , Landry Ngeumo, Alex Song, Joel Matip…etc

THE GAME PLAN

Many would argue that this is the typical Cameroonian player: big, strong, and mentally tough! It has been so, since Claude Le Roy (and western European coaches) took over the mantle in the national team as from 1985. It became even more the case when most of the development players (through football academies and newly created clubs) became essentially targeted to an international market  that requires big, physical, combative lads.

But it wasn’t so in the period of the Yugoslav trainers of the 1970s who worked to rebuild the national team through the local clubs. The process which led to the first qualification to a World Cup in 1982 and a first Africa Cup win in 1984 with a set of players who combined skill, power, creativity and improvisation.

It was Issiar Dia’s dribbles that broke the Lions’ defence for Demba Ba to score for Senegal on 26 March 2011 in Dakar. Who unlocks compact defences for Cameroon and picks the right pass for Aboubakar, Webo, Eto’o  and Choupo-Moting?

It is the second consecutive U-20  final that Cameroon is losing  and on both occasions the opponent rose to our physical challenge and had the additional spark and genius – Andre Ayew (Abedi Pele’s son) for Ghana in 2009 and Kayode for Nigeria in 2011 – to inflict harm (goals). Where are our creative men?

Maybe the take home message from this tournament is that Cameroon (technical directorate) needs to re-think its football to include style,finesse and flair to the steel that is already available; failing which, at best  we shall continue to be runners-up and at worst fail to qualify to any tournaments.

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria beat the Junior Lions of Cameroon 3-2 after extra-time to lift the Africa Youth Championship trophy on Sunday.

The winning goal was scored two minutes into prolongations after both teams had separated 2-2 following 90 minutes of football.

Nigeria had drawn first blood at the 74th minute when a rare error by Cameroon’s centre-back allowed  Nigerian striker Olanrewaju Kayode to beat  goalkeeper Jean Efala for the opening goal.

Kayode was to come back five minutes later to haunt Cameroon pushing goalkeeper Efala to foul him for a penalty that was scored by the tournament’s best goal scorer Uche Nwofor (4 goals).

The Lions’ never-say-die attitude  however got them back into contention for the title that has eluded them since 1995. Frank Ohandza shot from inside the box to reduce  the tally to 2-1 at the 82nd minute. Cotonsport Garoua’s Edgar Salli added a second at the 85th minute to take both teams to extra-time.

Cameroon, who were playing their second prolongation in the competition, lost concentration in the opening minutes of this phase of the game and conceded a goal scored by substitute Terry Enyoh.

It is the second consecutive U-20 Cup final that Cameroon’s Junior Lions are losing. They were beaten 2-0 by Ghana two years ago in Rwanda.

We’ll be back with an overview of the cubs’ tournament.

Cameroon’s U-20  team qualified for the final of the African Youth Championships after they beat Egypt 4-2 in post-match penalty kicks in South Africa on Thursday.  The Lions will  face Nigeria’s Flying Eagles on Sunday to determine who suceeds Ghana as the champions of Africa.

After 120 minutes of tactically intense play, neither Cameroon’s junior Lions nor their Egyptian opponents managed to score a goal thus leaving the semi-final to be decided on a penalty shoot-out.  Egypt failed to score their first and second spot-kicks while Cameroon scored four of theirs.

The Egyptians were furious at the referee and his assistants, who ruled on two occasions that Cameroonian players  should re-take their shots which had been stopped by Egypt’s goalkeeper. The keeper was adjudged to have stepped forward from his line before Nyantchou and Yaya Banana kicked and missed. Both players scored on their separate second-takes.

Egypt has been Cameroon’s nemesis for years but the cubs’  head coach, Martin Ndtoungou Mpile,  had promised  to stun the north Africans who had beaten his side thrice in preparatory games ahead of this tournament.

“The Egyptian coach will be surprised on Thursday because we played the test matches without eight of our regular players. He has to know that preparation is one thing and the competition itself is another ball game,” Ndtoungou Mpile said.

Cameroon will be playing the final for the second time in a row. They were finalists in Rwanda in 2009 where they were beaten by Ghana that  went on to win the U-20 World Cup.

The Lions will be clashing with opponents they know well – since they beat the Nigerians 1-0 in a group game last week. But the Nigerians have since obtained two victories against the Gambia and Mali (semi-final) on a similar 2-0 score. They have one of the tournament’s best goal scorers -Uche Nwofor – with three goals.

Cameroon, on the other hand, find it  hard to score goals. They have scored only three goals since the competition started but they have the meanest defence (just one goal conceded).

Their disciplined, solid and very compact style was on display again in that semi-final  against Egypt.

The Egyptians rarely found space between the Cameroonian lines and all 10 outfield Lions fought for every ball – harrying their opponents like Real Madrid did in the first-half of the Copa del Rey final last Wednesday.

Central midfielders Nyantchou and Nkom were bustling with energy and their passing to the wide players was swift. But the final ball to the attackers was usually poor. The strikers Haman and Ohandza took their defensive tasks very seriously but sadly failed to make things work offensively.

Let’s see what happens in the final now. At least, Ndtoungou is on record that he plans to win it.

“We have come here to play. Our first objective of reaching the semi-finals has been achieved. Now we will focus on winning the semis and the finals,” he had told reporters before the match.

Cameroon finished top of their Africa Youth Championship group with seven points after scoring a late goal to draw 1-1 with Ghana on Sunday.

Midfielder Emmanuel Ewangue Mbongo headed home for the junior Indomitable Lions  after the Ghanaian goalkeeper completely flapped his outing to stop an Edgar Salli corner in the dying seconds of the game (92nd minute).

On Thursday Cameroon will play against Egypt (second in pool A), while the Flying Eagles of Nigeria who finished second in Cameroon’s pool B (with six points) will clash with the Mali’s young Eagles (who topped pool A). These four teams will represent Africa in July’s FIFA Youth Championships (U-20 World Cup) in Columbia.

What are the lessons Cameroon may have learned from the game against Ghana?

Lesson 1: Cameroon’s benchwarmers can stop Ghana…

The Ghanaians, who are the reigning Africa U-20 Champions, scored in the 21st minute of play but the draw means they finish with only 2 points, cannot make it to the semi-finals and will not defend their World Championship crown.

The fact that the Ghanaians were unable to beat what was essentially a second-string Cameroon team speaks volumes about Ghana’s  below average performance at this tournament.

Cameroon’s head coach, Martin Ndtoungou Mpile,  had made whole-sale changes in order to rest some of the key players to who had qualified the squad to the semi-finals (and by the same token the World Cup) by beating the Gambia and Nigeria on an identical 1-0 scoreline.

Eric Ngana replaced Efala Ngonguep as the goalkeeper while Yann Songo’o, Mbongo, Armand Ela Ken and Alain Bruno Bati started for the first time in the midfield. Christian Toko Edimo and Joel Tageu who had been bit-part players in the other games had an opportunity to prove their worth up-front. At the defence, Ghislain Mvom who had played against the Gambia and Nigeria as a centre-back started at a right-back while Vincent Bikala slotted in the centre of defence to partner Yaya Banana.

Lesson 2: But Cameroon’s benchwarmers are not great…

Honestly, the changes didn’t click. The team seemed out of its depth particularly in the first-half where the Ghanaians ran the show. Cameroon’s passing was really poor between and there was no coordination between the various parts. This was exemplified by repeated confusion between the centre-backs Yaya Banana and Bikala and their rather shaky goalkeeper.

Cameroon stepped-up their game once Ndtoungou Mpile decided to substitute Alain Bati bringing on Edgar Salli at the start of the second-half. Yet, the passing at midfield only improved when the coach brought in Nyantchou of Panthere Bangante and Jacques Haman of Cotonsport Garoua.

From the 70th minute Cameroon piled pressure on the Ghanaians who scarcely crossed their half of the field and resorted to fouls. It seemed the arrival of the regular starters and news of Nigeria’s curtain-raiser in their game against the Gambia had sparked them into action.

Seeing that Cameroon only clicked when Salli, Haman and Nyantchou came on, it is clear that most of the players who were tested on Sunday will return to their bench-warming positions if the Lions have to make any impact in the semi-finals next week (not to mention the World Cup in July).

Lesson 3: Cameroon still has to work on scoring goals

The junior Lions created more chances towards the end of the encounter but as in the previous games their finishing continued to be wasteful.  The coaches would have to work on precision and target shooting before the next games.

The centre-forward Tageu was a real let-down. His midfielders served him with several through-balls but he was unable to make contact or proper use, often looking tired and heavy. Haman troubled the Ghanaian defence when he came on but it wasn’t uncommon to see him blazing wide ever-so-often.

Fortunately, the coaches had tweaked the formation from 4-4-2 to a 4-1-2-3 to ensure that Cameroon pressed high-up the pitch and pushed the Ghanaians to commit several fouls and concede about half a dozen corner-kicks.

Cameroon scored from one of these corner-kicks. It is the second Cameroonian goal to come from a set-piece. The Lions have scored only three (3) goals so far!!! It may not be worrying (for now) because of the sturdy defence and midfield but something needs to be done (for the future) about scoring goals.

Cameroon beat the Gambia 1-0 to kick-start their CAF under-20 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in South Africa on Monday. The boys coached by Martin Ndtoungou Mpile were tactically disciplined, controlled most of the game and could (should) have won by more goals were it not for poor finishing and a really bad pitch.

Ndtoungou Mpile set the squad in a 4-4-2 and seemed to have insisted on the boys playing their way up-field instead of flinging long balls over the midfield (as has become common-place among many Cameroon national sides).

The team was compact when it lost the ball with all-four midfielders – Edgar Sally (on the right), Atouba Emane (on the left), Frank Kom and Nyantchou (in the centre) – chasing and harassing the Gambian players for the ball. The two attackers also put pressure high up the field when Cameroon lost possession, pushing the Gambians to skip their midfield via long-balls which were easily managed by the  Cameroonians.

Cameroon’s goalkeeper, Jean Konguep, spent long-spells of the game as a mere spectator. He was only startled back to life at the 72nd minute when he hesitated to come for the ball leaving a Gambian attacker the chance to shoot. Konguep parried the ball away but it fell to another opponent leading to some panicky clearance by the defence.

Both teams were, however, hindered by the poor playing surface. It looked like a farm overrun by a herd of cattle in the rainy season.

It appears all the teams play on the same turf.  Nigeria had beaten Ghana 2-1 on the same ground a few minutes before Cameroon and the Gambia locked-horns.

Yet, Cameroon constantly created movement on the flanks where the full-backs often surged forward through overlapping runs that created passing possibilities for their offensive and midfield team mates.

This hallmark of teams coached by Ndtoungou Mpile, ran the Gambians ragged particularly on the right flank where the full-back Serge Leuko and the offensive midfielder Edgar Salli seemed not to notice the state of the pitch.

Leuko, who plays for Levante in Spain, is one to watch because he is playing in position where there seems to a drought in quality for Cameroon for years.

On the left-flank Atouba displayed a very high work rate while Edimo Toko who replaced him in the dying moments of the game exuded sleekness and better technique. This showed in a brilliant run into the 18-yard box which ended with hard tackle from a Gambian defender. The Cameroon bench asked for a penalty but only got a corner – one of the dozen the team won.

But most of Cameroon’s possession was missused by strikers who  shot when they had to pass, and passed when it was time to shoot. Cameroon scored from a set-piece at the last minute of the first-half which is  testimony to their wastefulness in-front of goal in open-play.

The goal was scored by Cotonsport Garoua’s Edgar Salli whose hopeful kick was fluffed by the Gambian goalkeeper and dropped into the net. Ndtoungou Mpile must work on his team’s finishing before their next game against a very brilliant Nigerian side that gave the reigning African and World Champions, Ghana, a run for their money.

Between the 70th and 80th minutes the midfield had a serious deep in energy levels creating space for the Gambians who had their best spell in the game. Cameroon escaped that time because of it’s centre-back pairing – Yaya Banana and Ghislain Mvom – who played for the U-20s at the World Cup in 2009. They were calm and confident but they weren’t really tested by the Gambians – that won’t be the case against Nigeria.

It was good to watch a team coached by Ndtoungou Mpile again. He was Winfried Schaffer’s assistant when the Indomitable Liosn reached the final of the Confederations Cup in 2003.He has twice been involved in qualifying Cameroon for the Olympic Games (was Akono’s assistant in the 2000 gold medal winning squad) and has won the All Africa Games gold medal with the u-23 in 2007.

His 2008 crop of Olympic Lions were a blend of steel and beautiful play. It is surprising that authorities decided to demote him to the U-20s. The fact that his, is the only Cameroon national team to have qualified for a tournament this far is a vindication of his prowess.

The United States of America tamed Cameroon’s under 20 Lions with a 4-1 flogging on Tuesday on the second day of action in group “C” of the ongoing Fifa World Youth Championships in Egypt.

The cub lions were second best throughout the game

Bryan Arguez opened scores for the U.S.A. in the additional minutes before half-time and Tony Taylor scored a second barely three minutes after play resumed for the second half. Dily Duka masterfully chipped the ball over goalkeeper Beyokol for the third goal, which more or less nailed Cameroon.

The Lions attempted to put up a fight and scored from the penalty spot through centre-back Yaya Banana. With 15 minutes to go, some die-heart Lions fans thought they could still stage a come-back. But this was never to be. The long balls and lack of collective play was their bane.As they charged for a face saving goal, they created wide gaps at the back and the Americans duely made use of such space. Brian Owby filled-in the space and scored a fourth goal, seconds to the end of the game.

The Stars and Stripes of the U.S.A have now overtaken Cameroon in the group standings due to their better goal difference although both teams have equal points (3). Germany is top with 4 points after they drew with South Korea who are bottom with 1point.

For Cameroon to qualify to the next round, they must beat Germany on Friday in the last group game. Will they be up to the task?

Cameroon’s under 20 national squad beat their Republic of Korea counterparts 2-0 in their opening group game of the FIFA Youth Championship in Egypt.

Cameroon's flag is flying again

Cameroon's flag is flying again

Andre Akono Effa’s shot that was poorly handled by the Korean keeper Lee Bum Young earned the junior Lions a curtain raiser 19 minutes into the game played in Suez.

Cameroon’s second came in courtesy of subsititute Germain Tiko who connected a free-kick by Olivier Boumale into the Korean net after 64 minutes.

Cameroon’s physical power helped them keep the game under control. But they would have to correct the way they start their matches. A shaky first 10 minutes could have proved very costly for the Cubs had the Koreans been a better team.

Germany and Cameroon have three points each but the Lions lie second behind Germany in Pool C of the tournament by virtue of  the German’s better goal difference. Germany beat the United States of America 3-0.

In the next group stage games scheduled for 29 September, Cameroon takes on the U.S.A  while Germany clashes with Korea. Victories for Cameroon and Germany would practically seal their tickets to the next round of the competition.