Though the Lions played a draw, it was as if they had lost the match.
There was a feeling of disappointment among fans on Saturday as the Lions played a second draw at the ongoing 30th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. Pior to the encounter there was a general feeling of optimism that the Lions will step up their game and correct the mistakes of the Mali game by obtaining a convincing victory over Guinea.
However, there were some concerns when fans realized, but for the return of Captain Stephane Mbia, Coach Volker Finke had renewed his confidence in the same squad that played against Mali even though some had clearly shown their lacuna at this level of the competition. But the fear was dissipated as the Lions took ascendancy of the game as the ball was set rolling, creating several chances upfront which was rewarded by a goal at the 13th minute.
The crowd went wild with joy with expectations high that more goals were coming. There were shouts of joy, blowing of vuvuzelas and dancing. However, the equalizer from two-times man of the match, Ibrahima Traore, was a reminder that Cameroon was not invulnerable as thought and that you don’t chant victory before a war.
As the doubt stepped in, fans started questioning the tactical options of Volker Finke and the criteria for his substitutions. Why some players who had demonstrated so much zeal and talent during the qualifiers were left out for new ones who have been found wanting by most spectators were lined up to play. The disillusionment mounted as Lions mounted sterile offensives, multiplying near misses and nonchalance.
Cameroonian fans started leaving the field with drawn faces about five minutes to the end of the match as it became clear the Lions like the Elephants before them, could obtain nothing more than a draw in the encounter. While the Lions and the Elephants have been losing support, it is the Eagles of Mali and the Syli National of Guinea who have been winning the people’s hearts through the spirited fights they have been putting against Cocircte d’Ivoire and Cameroon hitherto considered favourites of the group.
Source : Cameroon Tribune