Tag Archive: equatorial guinea


Cameroon absent but represented at CAN 2012

I have not lost my memory or gone mad. I am aware that Cameroon did not qualify for the African Cup of Nations that kicks-off this Saturday in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. However, there are a handful of players originally from Cameroon who are representing other nations at this tournament.

The bulk of the ex-Cameroonian contingent will be defending the colours of co-hosts Equatorial  Guinea. Five members of their 23-man squad — Narcisse Ekanga (midfield), Thierry Fidjeu (forward),  Douwala Ellong (forward), Raul Juan Maximo Eyama (midfield) and Achille Pensy (goalkeeper) — hail from Cameroon.

Ekanga, who plays his club football for TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo, had played for Cameroon at U-17 and U-20 levels but with so many central midfielders ahead of him in the pecking order, it is no surprise that he was willing to switch nationalities.

The young goalkeeper Pensy also featured for the U-17 Lions at some point in his young career while Thierry Fidjeu waited in vain for a call to bolster the Indomitable Lions attack before settling for the Nzalang.

There’ll certainly be families jubilating in Douala, Bafoussam and Yaounde should the Nzalang Nacional score a victory over  the Knights of the Mediterranean (formerly known as ‘Greens’) of Libya in the tournament’s opening game.

Nzalang Nacional fans would surely be hoping that these Equato-Cameroonians would be as successful for their team as Lauren Etame Mayer, born in Cameroon to Equato-Guinean parents.  He played for the Indomitable Lions between 1998 and 2002 and won two African Cup of Nations and an Olympic Gold Medal.

AFRICA UNITED

It should be noted, however, that the Equatorial Guinea team also features players originally from Liberia, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. There are also a few ex-Brazilians, as well. All are naturalised and should bag home  the $1 million promised by the son of the country’s President, if they can win that opening game!

William Tondji Ngounou will be representing Niger. He is a striker who plays professional football in Sweden. He was born in Cameroon but left the country at the age of 10 to live in Niger with his Cameroonian parents. He has since opted to play for the Mena du Niger.

His national team mates include goalkeeper Dauada Kassaly and midfielders Abdoul-Karim Lancina and Idrissa Saidou who play their club football in Cameroon at Cotonsport Garoua.

Niger  held their pre-tourney training camp in Cameroon. They played a host of friendly games with local clubs and Cameroon’s national selection team of players based at home (or those who have yet to cross the border to play for Equatorial Guinea!).

Two other countries camped in Cameroon before the competition — Botswana and Burkina Faso (Their stay at the Kadji Sports Academy makes them a little Cameroonian, no?).

Burkina Faso could even have fielded another ex-Cameroonian in Herve Zengue who was surprisingly left out of the Stallions squad. Zengue, who is married to a Burkinabe citizen,  played for the Stallions in two qualifying matches against Namibia.

But the southern African nation  claimed was not eligible to represent Burkina Faso and asked for the West Africans to be disqualified. The matter was only recently decided against Namibia by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).  Sadly, by that time, coach Paulo Duarte had decided not to pick Zengue for the tournament.

Gef’s Football Club will provide tactical previews and  analysis of some of the games at this tournament.

Javier Clemente: Was this his last game in-charge of Cameroon?

Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea played a 1-1 draw in an international friendly on Tuesday in Malabo. The Lions scored the curtain raiser through striker Leonard (Leonie) Kweuke before their hosts equalised. .

Cameroon coach Javier Clemente fielded a second-string team for this encounter apart from Alexandre Song who was duly withdrawn by the second-half to prevent him picking-up an injury.

Cameroon’s passing, especially in that second-half, was really woeful. Eric Djemba Djemba showed again that he doesn’t deserve to be recalled to the team, often losing possession as was the case against Mauritius and Congo (Kinshasa).

Abouna Ndzana, the young Astres Douala full-back who deputised at right-back, showed enthusiasm surging forward, but he was often caught out of position. His short-passing was unimpressive and he kept kicking the ball long to the forwards who were not the tallest in the world once Kweuke had been substituted.

The players generally looked tired and sluggish. This was not helped by the rugged play by the hosts whose tackles that gave a stop-start tempo to the game. It was unpleasing to watch.

A [particularly bad challenge against Kweuke forced the Cameroon coaches to replace him with Benjamin Moukandjo Bille just before half-time. His teammates got enraged when the referee didn’t whistle for a foul or warn the Equato-Guinean player.

The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-host showed determination and power which led to their equaliser. But they hardly ever got near to Jules Goda’s goal area on his 1st start for Cameroon.

Edgar Sali, who only five months ago was still playing for the U-20s, gave a good account of himself. However, his set-pieces were poorly taken whereas that is one of his strengths.

Will this be Clemente’s last game as head coach of the Indomitable Lions? The rumour mill has been grinding since Cameroon failed to beat Senegal in June.

The Spaniard however says he is there to re-build the squad and is in for the long-term with Cameroon regardless of the team’s failure to qualify for next year’s AfCon tournament.

The re-building process continues next month when Cameroon plays two international friendlies against Ivory Coast and Algeria. Will the Spaniard be in-charge then?