Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

15 June 2014

Cameroon: A Glimmer of Hope Prevails for Lions

The Lions last Saturday resume training with the hope of correcting last Friday's mistakes.

After a soaking defeat at the Das Dunas Stadium in the Brazilian State of Natal last Friday, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have resumed training at their base in Santo Espirito.

Under the auspices of head coach Volke Finke, the training session that featured all the reserve players and only four (Choupo, Mbia, Webo, Moukandjo) of the thirteen players who participated in last Friday's encounter (against Mexico), began with a light jogging exercise round the pitch. It was followed by a segmentation of the team into four groups.

While, the German trainer prescribed and watched keenly the different tactical exercises being carried out by the biggest group made up of the reserve players, the goalkeeper trainer, Jacque Songo'o was at the East end of the field with the two goalkeepers, Sammy Ndjock and Loic Feudjou, dishing out moral, physical and technically lessons to them. At the West end of the field, the physical trainer Christopher Manouvrier, was one-on-one with Bordeaux's midfielder, Landry N'Guemo.

According to an official of the Cameroon Football Federation, N'Guemo has been feeling some pains on his left knee since the team arrived Brazil. This has affected his output enormously to the extent that his form has dropped. This explains why he has been receiving special training from the physical trainer. The official re-iterated. On his left knee, are three blue bandages fixed firmly to meet the test of time.

While three of the four players who took part in the encounter retired a few minutes after the jogging exercise, no glance of their other teammates were visible around the Kleber Andrade Complexo Espirito Santo.

By the time the press men who have been distanced from the team since the Lions went to camp a fortnight ago were being escorted out of the field by the Brazilian security service, no sound of galvanizing songs and dance was head.. The usual festive mode that characterize the Lions training during and after has given way to a precarious calm and speculations on what went wrong last Friday in Natal.

According to most football pundits and media gurus present in Vitoria, though the dismal performance of the team can be attributed to the heavy downpour during the encounter, lack of recuperation after two days of strike for bonuses and two days of non-stop journey from Yaounde to Vitoria, the Indomitable Lions can still grab a round two ticket if they win their last two encounters against Croatia and Brazil.

But a few however believe especially those from the foreign media that the Cameroonian team was not only disorganized on Friday, but the weakest of the five African representatives at the final phase of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They buttress their argument be the fact that, no compartment of the team did function as expected. Furthermore they say, had it not been the poor handling of the encounter by the referee from Colombia, the score line situation could have been different.

It should be noted that the defeat of the Indomitable Lions comes on the heels of a two-page letter issued by team captain Samuel Eto'o in which he is thanking the President of the Republic for his relentless support to the team, Roving Ambassador Roger Milla, the country's role model and his teammates during their support to fight for their rights.

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