As expected early this morning Thursday June 19 2014, Cameroon became the first African country to crash out of this year’s world cup after a humiliating 4-0 defeat by a less than impressive Croatia team. The Lions played with just ten men when defender Alex Song was red carded for an avoidable tackle on a Croatian attacker while the world watched in disbelief as two Lions players Moukanjo and Assou Ekotto fought each other as the team ran out of steam. The clash between the two was the culmination of the complete breakdown in team spirit that is necessary for any team to win matches. There are calls for the team to be disbanded and revamped from scratch. Ekoutto might be sanctioned post match for head butting Moukanjo.
Lions captain Samuel Eto’o Fils missed the match due to a knee injury while changes upfront by German coach Volke Finke failed to put any fire power in the attack line.
Two goals from Croatia attacker Mario Mandzukic who came in from a suspension, and earlier goals from Ivica Olic and Ivan Perisic sealed Cameroon’s fate and the Lions will be crashing out of the competitions in the first round for the fifth successive world cup finals. The lions team was unimpressive, clueless, disorganized and unable to mount any notable attack on the front line as the Croatian team dictated the tempo of the match from start to finish.
”I am very disappointed”, head coach Volke Finke said after the match. Achille Webo in a post macth interview with CRTV claimed blamed he defeat on the expulsion of Alex Song during the first half as this badly demoralized the team. The Lions will play a gala match against host Brazil on June 23 2014 and will most likely lose that macth too against the favourites to win the cup
Lions fans Sarli Sardou Nana spoke for millions of Lions fans when he posted on facebook; “No team spirit, no leadership, no management, no discipline, too much politics. How can the Lions perform? By jujulitics?
Veteran sports journalist Geoff Ngwa in a post match analysis on State Television said;”this is a team that for the past five to six years has done absolutely nothing for the lions”, a reference to the poor performance of the team for the last couple of years. The team last won a trophy ( the African nations cup) fourteen years ago in 2002 while they have won just one miserable match in four world cup participation’s and that was also in 2002!
Angie Forbin, another disappointed fan proposed a more extreme form of punishment for the Lions who spent the last few days before they flew to Brazil protesting over the payment of match bonuses; “…these Scoundrels of emaciated cats need some public whipping and a few nights in a police cell” she noted o her facebook page.
The unimpressive participation of the Lions at yet another world cup came as no surprise because football, like almost everything else in Cameroon is disorganized and uncoordinated
Fecafoot, the Lions, the Normalization Committee and the Sports Ministry share the collective blame for the failure of one of the most promising African teams on the world stage. As expected, no official wil be resigning to shoulder the blame for this monumental failure.
Cameroon joins Cup holders Spain who also suffered their second defeat 0-2 to Chile while Australia became the third team to be disqualified. Africa’s other representatives Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Ghana mathematically all this have a chances to qualify for the second round if they win their two remaining matches.