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Qatar 2022 WC Friendly: 5 Lessons to take Home as Cameroon Falls to South Korea

The indomitable lions failed to win a single game in their world cup friendlies, conceding 3 goals and scoring none. Nevertheless, there have been some lessons learnt from these matches that will determine not only the choice of players for the world cup but equally Cameroon’s performance.

1) The comeback of veterans brought nothing new to the team.

Rigobert Song : « Mandjeck et Nkoulou ont l'expérience et le vécu dont nous  avons besoin… » - CamerounSports
Coming back after 5 years of absence, Nicolas Nkoulou’s age and slow pace (only 19 minutes played this season for club) didn’t give assurance to Cameroon’s defence and his presence pushed co-central defender Castelleto to work twice his workload in order to cover the spaces and match up with the rhythm of the game. Georges Mandjeck who has been away for 3 years equally was transparent in the midfield in the lone game played against Uzbekistan. Jean Pierre Nsame came in twice at the 70th minute in both games but couldn’t fit in nor spice the atatck line. They should be dropped to give chances to a younger generation that will not only acquire experience at the world cup but equally be a sure asset at the next AFCON in Côte d’ivoire.

2) Cameroon still in search of a playing formation

Lions Indomptables : Georges Mandjeck, Nicolas Nkoulou pas à la hauteur -  Allez Les Lions
These friendlies have equally proven that Cameroon is still in search of its ideal playing formation. The 3-4-3- formation experimented against Uzbekistan proved to be unproductive as the 3 central backs Ebosse, Nkoulou and Castelleto were always taken aback, Fai Collins and Nouhou Tolo the wingers couldn’t do the runs leaving large gaps well exploited by the Uzbeks who easily scored two goals. Against South Korea, Cameroon came back to a traditional 4-3-3 formation which seemed much more stable with 4 defenders. Coach Rigobert Song will continue the search for the ideal pair at the central defence after the Nkoulou-Castelleto combination didn’t work out well.

3)The indomitable lions need to step up their game

Cameroon Suffer Defeat to South Korea Ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup ▷
With many of its players playing in second zone championships, the lions need to step up their game, put in more rhythm and learn tactical discipline and concentration. The game against South Korea proved to be too fast for many of our players, and the team spent the first 30 minutes defending and unable to keep the ball for more than 30 seconds. This game was a perfect match for what the lions will face against Brazil, that punished Tunisia 5-1 in a similar friendly.

4) Positive Revelations from newcomers

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Bryan Mbeumo is one of the greatest satisfaction of this Asian expedition. The Brentford forward showed skills and proved to be a perfect match upfront with centre forward Vincent Aboubakar. Olivier Ntcham equally brought in some oxygen at the midfield with precise passes and attempts at goal. In the defence line, Enzo Ebosse was the best Cameroonian against Uzbekistan.
The spirit of the team in the second game against South Korea was just what the fans wanted to see. The players projected the legendary “lion’s spirit, showing resilience in the last game. A mindset that will be required if the team hopes to meet the aspirations of Samuel Eto’o who has set the world cup objective to playing 7 games in Qatar.

5) Some players already have their places assured for Qatar 2022

LdC UEFA (J1): Porté par un grand Zambo-Anguissa, Naples surclasse  Liverpool (4-1) !
The double friendly against Uzbekistan and South Korea has exposed some loop holes in certain field positions making some of the absentees become indispensable, thus assuring their place in Qatar whithout playing. Zambo Anguissa’s midfield position was loosed as Cameroon suffered from the absence of a holding midfielder. In the first game, Ntcham and Mandjeck couldn’t meet up to expectations while Hongla, Oum Gwet and Gale Ondoua bent the knee to the Korean midfield.
Up front, Chouppo Moting and Toko Ekambi have been the goalscorers for Cameroon in the lion’s last 3 games. Cameroon was unable to score a single goal in the double friendly, making Vincent Aboubakar look like an orphan oont he attacking line.
These 3 players have become indispensable for the team’s success and their absence was greatly felt.

The ball is now in the court of the lion’s gaffer, who has to combine all these talents to form a strong and conquering team.

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