The performance of the new players experimented against The Gambia offers a glimmer of hope for the future.
It was an overhauled Lion’s squad that faced The Gambia on the 6th and last day of play of qualifiers for the 2017 AFCON last Saturday raising eye brows about their performance especially as Cameroon was already qualified for the final round of the tournament. However it came to pass that the new breed of players assured the relay, putting up a brilliant show with a spectacular 2-0 victory over the Gambia.
The defence was an experimental one with Michael Ngadeu and Adolphe Tekeu combining well to push off the onslaught of the Gambians. But for the opening minutes of the encounter, the defence was not really put to test though a few occasional shots from the Scorpions were cleanly stopped by the majestic Ondoa. They were both good in airborne and ground duels and can be a good replacement for Nkoulou and Chedjou
The midfield was a blend of old and new talents with Salli Edgar and Oyongo Ambroise as guides. The new kids on the block here were Fai Collins and Arnaud Djoum who played without any complex assuring the relay between the defence and the attack line and even taking part in some offensive actions. Fai Collins was good at the flank but his crosses sometime approximate and failing to meet his team mates. After a timid start of the game, Arnaud Djoum gained steam and came close to scoring.
Toko Ekambi though in his fourth selection, was the boss of the attack line, very enterprising, and combative creating so many problems for the Gambian defence. It is just but normal that his efforts were compensated by a goal. Ndip Tambe on the other hand did not rise to the challenge as he squandered two scoring chances. His performance was however far from ridiculous as he demonstrated he had the potential but probably did not express himself well due to the pressure of playing in front of his home crowd in Limbe in his debut with the national team.
Collectively, the Lions played well though much is still left to be desired. Though qualified, they played with determination and cohesion in spite of some difficulties at the beginning of the encounter. Their performance offers a glimmer of hope for the future especially as the coach Hugo Broos says he is looking for fresh blood to inject into the squad before the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia since most of the regular players are aging and maybe too old for the Russian world cup.