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WAFCON2022: Cameroon vs Zambia: 3 lessons learnt from the stalemate

The indomitable lionesses were held in a goaless draw in the group B opener of the WAFCON Morocco 2022.
Despite dominating the game and keeping possession of the ball (61%), the girls of coach gabriel Zabo couldnot break the deadlock defence setup by coach Bruce Mwape of the Shepolopolo.

3 lessons can been drawn from this confrontation

1) The lionesses are looked upon as favourites
The celebration of the Zambians at the end of the game contrasted with the sad faces of the lionesses is a clear indication of the ambitions from both sides. The lionesses who have always won their opening game in the past 3 editions met stiff resistance in this game.
The Zambians came into the game with the objective of getting a draw and spent most of the time in their half while the cameroonians were hammering their double defence wall for a goal. This attitude of the Zambians is a clear indication that Cameroon is looked upon as favourites of the competition and given the respect due to their rank, the opponents elaborate a defensive football. This will eventually be the case in subsequent games as the lionesses warm up to face Togo on July 7th.

2) Persistent midfield problems
The inability to solve the Zambian equation can equally be explained by the absence of a creative midfield to make out chances for the attackers. Since the friendlies against Senegal and France, Cameroon had shown signs of weakness at the centre circle with several players tested so far to be paird up with Ngock Yango; Omboudou and Dabda were tried during friendlies, Ngo Mbeleck and Ngock Monique as starters against Zambia, Fatima Kome coming in the second half of the game to carry the team upfront. All these combinations have been proven unsuccessful and coach Gabriel Zabo will have to develop the right strategy that suits the quality of the players and permit the balls to easily get to Michaela-Batya Bisi Abam, our centre forward and wingers Nchout Njoya Ajara and Gabriel Aboudi Onguene.

3) Hope for the future
Eventhough the lionesses failed to score in their opener against Zambia, there’s hope for the future of the tournament because they showed up a good attitude that will go a long way to determine their altitude. The disapointment expressed at the end fo the game proved the players are highly motivated to win the tounrmant.
The team was solid in the back with Awona and Johnson not giving a chance to the opponent, while Falone Meffometou of Fleury FC and Colette Ndzana Fegue of Dinamo-BGU of Belarus made use of their experience on the flanks.
Though closely marked, Njoya Ajara and Gabriel Onguene shook the flanks and Abam’s pace and physicality could be better used to weigh on defences.

The indomitable lionesses take on Togo on July 6th in what we hope will be the announciation of a revived team.

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