15 October 2012

Cape Verde/Cameroon: Cape Verde Stuns Cameroon

Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images-Stanbic
Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon and Chris Katongo of Zambia with Referee officals during the African Nations Cup match between Cameroon and Zambia .

Though victorious, the Indomitable Lions left spectators dejected at the end of the match.

The 2-1 score over Cape Verde is the bitterest victories ever recorded by Cameroon as it wasn't enough to enable the Indomitable Lions qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Whereas things got up to a good start with the public thronging the Yaounde Omnisports stadium to capacity. The excitement was at fever pitch before the kick-off with musical animation, dancing and heated arguments among spectators as to whether Cameroon was going to qualify or not. Optimists for qualification were comforted in their feeling especially as there was an emotional high moment when Nicolas Nkoulou officially handed over the captainship band to Eto'o in the presence of Rigobert Song.

The beginning of the match was full of cheers and jeers as the boisterous crowd appreciated any good play from the Lions or expressed their disagreement with the referee's decision. However, the excitement died down when Cape Verde got the curtain raiser at a time spectators were expecting Cameroon to open scores having taken full ascendancy in the encounter. Even then, hopes lingered on especially as Cameroon equalised ten minutes later. The diehard supporters still promised a 4-1 victory in favour of Cameroon and qualification for the Lions. But hope began to dwindle when the match weighed on and Cameroon continued squandering scoring opportunities.

Fifteen minutes to the end of the match, even the most diehard optimists gave up hope and started leaving the stadium. Not even the second goal from Fabrice Olinga, way into extra time was enough to rekindle hope among the supporters of the Indomitable Lions. Though a bitter bill to swallow, fans had to come to terms with the fact that Cameroon won't be present in the final round of the Africa Cup of Nations for the second time in a row. The unexpected had happened and not even the return of Eto'o Fils heralded as a saviour could spare Cameroon of the ill luck. It is worthy to note Eto'o's mother, father, brothers, sisters and friends were at the stadium only to witness the mighty fall of the Lions.

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