Olympics: Preview Notes – Cameroon (Group E)

HERE BY THE GRACE OF THE SOCCER GODS — During qualification, Cameroon was knocked out by Equatorial Guinea, and that appeared to be the end of the road. Until, it was discovered that one of their opponent’s players was ineligible due to nationality reasons (BBC). And, with that Equatorial Guinea forfeited their matches, which gave Cameroon a chance to qualify if they could beat African heavyweight Nigeria in the final home-and-away round. But, after a split-decision where each team had a 2:1 win, the ticket to London would be decided by a penalty shoot-out, which Cameroon ended up winning 4-3 (FIFA.com write-up).

  • How They Qualified: Won one of two branches in CAF’s 2012 qualifying process
  • FIFA Rank: #50
  • Previous Olympics: none
  • 2011 WWC Performance: did not qualify
  • Key Players: Christine Manie (defender), Madeleine Ngono Mani (forward)
  • Head Coach: Carle Enow (Cameroon)
  • Team Captain: Françoise Josephine Bella
  • Recent Form: L, W, T, T
  • Group Finish Probabilities: 1st, 5%; 2nd, 10%; 3rd, 20%; 4th, 65%
  • Medal Chances: Slim

DETAILS ARE HARD TO COME BY — The Cameroon federation only spottily posts news items about its women’s team, and useful information, such as line-ups and substitutions are usually lacking. In addition to the lack of coverage, until this month Cameroon has not apparently played an international friendly against a non-African squad (according to FIFA.com’s records), this makes getting useful quality information about the team quite difficult.

RECENT MATCHES — Cameroon played two international friendlies up in Scotland, one against Northern Ireland on July 8th, which they won 2:0 on goals from Enganamouit (~13′) and Aboudi Onguene (~90′). However, in the second match, versus Scotland on July 15th, Cameroon ‘lost the plot’ — and the match — in part due to a “bizarre” own goal and an inability to score even though they supposedly dominated possession. In late May and mid-June, Cameroon played Ghana in qualifying for the African Women Championship. In that home-and-away contest, both matches end in draws (0:0 and 1:1). After the second match, a penalty shoot-out was held, with Cameroon outlasting Ghana 9:8.

GROUP CHANCES — After the loss against Scotland, Cameroon’s chances of making the quarterfinals via a wild card berth seem quite low. It would require at least a draw in either of their first two matches against Brazil and Great Britain and then a win over New Zealand. But Brazil and Great Britain, have too much class, experience, and fitness to make that them vulnerable to an upset by a low-ranked debutante. However, with Brazil struggling, a 1:1 or even a 2:2 draw in the opening match is not out of the realm of possibilities. And, a win over New Zealand may be made much more difficult if accumulated yellow cards and fitness becomes an issue for the Africans.

LAST KNOWN LINE-UP — June 17th (vs. Ghana, June 17th): Sonkgeng (DF), Mani (DF), Zouga (MF), Feudijo (MF), Beyene (MF), Bella (MF), Aboudi Onguene (FW), Ngono Mani (FW), Iven (FW). (source: fecafootonline.com) Which, based on the players’ official position designations, suggests a 3-4-3 formation, but last year during qualifying Cameroon appears to have used a 4-2-3-1 formation (BigSoccer).

Applying the above line-up to a 4-2-3-1:

Ngo Dom (GK)
Meffoumetou (RB) — Manie (CB) — Sonkgeng (CB) — Beyene (LB)
Feudijo (MF) — Bella (MF)
Ngono Mani (RM) — Zouga (AM) — Aboudi Onguene (LM)
Iven (FW)

* * *

See Also:

* * *