The Indomitable Lions failed to do justice to their talent and ability in an uncharacteristically timid performance…
Chile got their Confederations Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 2-0 triumph over African champions Chile. The South Americans dominated the game enjoying over half of the posession. If anything the scoreline was rather kind to the Indomitable Lions who did not help their cause.
Chile expectedly monopololised the ball from the outset. If that wasn’t enough Cameroon abetted them by being careless with whatever possession they did enjoy. They squandered every such half chance as Hugo Broos’ strikers struggled to string passes together. Experienced Vincent Aboubakar and highly-rated Christian Bassogog both failed to make an impact despite Chile’s backline proving vulnerable to quick counter-attacks.
While their attack seemed underwhelming, the Cameroon back four, who had conceded four goals against South American side Colombia not so long ago, were themselves at sixes and sevens and were only saved their blushes thanks to some heroic goalkeeping by Joseph Ondoa who pulled off save after save to keep the slate clean in the first half.
Chile proved too good for Cameroon
The African side began the second half better as they troubled Chile’s second-choice shot-stopper Johnny Herrera but didn’t have the vision to pick out quality final passes that could have won the game for them. Their lack of the killer instinct meant Chile’s scoring of the opener was inevitable.
Cameroon’s second-half fatigue, accordingly, proved the factor that decided the fixture as Chile, in light of the injection of vibrancy and quality offered by the introduction of Alexis Sanchez, scored two goals in the last nine minutes of the game to spoil Cameroon’s party.
The fact that they left the opposition’s two best players in Sanchez and Vidal unmarked for the South Americans’ opener was a testament to the kind of night the Africans endured. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that for large part of the game they looked a bit out of their depth. Yet, the irony is that the side which was so easily outclassed by the Chileans is almost unrecignizable from the energetic and imaginative team that won the African Cup of Nations only a few months ago.
Qualifying for the semi-finals is now an uphill task. Cameroon next go up against Australia, who sit 18 places below them in FIFA rankings and a young Germany outfit. They must now up their game drastically as another repeat of Sunday’s performance will see them receive a battering.