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FIFA World Cup 2019 : Group E Analysis – Cameroon’s daunting prospect and the clash of styles

The key game is this group with four teams from four different Confederations providing a clash of styles is certainly the match pitting Canada vs. The Netherlands. This is the second meeting after their 1-1 draw four years ago in the group stage in Canada 2015. Meanwhile the Netherlands are European Champions, the Canadians are fifth in recent FIFA Rankings.

Le 3 juin 2019

New Zealand are Oceanian champions, have four appearances in the World Cup but have never reached the second round.

A second consecutive World Cup appearance, having qualified for a major tournament for the first time as recently as the 2012 Olympics, confirms the impression Cameroon made four years ago as a team on the rise. One of the surprises of the tournament in 2015, Cameroon beat Switzerland in the group phase and became just the second African team to reach the knockout round — matching the total number of knockout games Nigeria had played in its seven World Cups prior to this year.

Cameroon’s return strengthens its foothold in the international game (it even qualified for each of the past two U-17 World Cups, suggesting the potential for more to come).

After qualifying with a game to spare in 2015, getting back to the World Cup went the distance this time. Cameroon first needed to get through a difficult group in the 2018 African Cup of Nations — it trailed in both its opener against Mali and the group finale against host Ghana but won both games.

Having survived to top the group, Cameroon then lost a penalty shootout against perennial power Nigeria in a semifinal. That meant the trip to France depended on a rematch with Mali in the third-place game. Not until Gabrielle Onguéné scored after more than an hour was that victory secure.

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This is a group that knows what awaits in France. Of the 13 players who spent time on the field in the knockout-round loss to China in 2015, 12 are part of the roster four years later. There are almost as many holdovers from the 2012 Olympics. With an average age beyond 27 years, it is a veteran team. It is also a team that added some fresh depth this time with American-born players Michaela Abam, Estelle Johnson and Alexandre Takounda.

Yet it might also be a rusty team. Two games in China in April and a May warm-up friendly against Spain were the only full-fledged international games played between qualifying last November and the start of the World Cup. On top of that, Cameroon dismissed coach Joseph Ndoko in January, leaving new coach Alain Djeumfa few opportunities to audition players or test anything under game conditions. Djeumfa was on the staff previously, so at least he won’t have to introduce himself, but it adds a layer of complication.

Players to watch

Michaela Abam

The Houston-area product starred at West Virginia in college and spent time with U.S. youth national teams. She was then the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NWSL draft but played only a handful of games for Sky Blue before she signed with Paris FC in France’s top division. It remains to be seen where she fits in, but it’s not inconceivable she could become to Cameroon what Janine Beckie, another American-born player from the Big 12, is for Canada.

Gabrielle Onguéné

She scored the second-half equalizer that set Cameroon on the path to its historic win against Switzerland in the last World Cup and has been a productive goal scorer in the Russian league in the years since. More recently, coming off the bench for the only time in the team’s five games in the final phase of the African Cup of Nations, she scored the eventual winner in the game against Mali that clinched World Cup qualification on a gorgeous strike from beyond 20 yards. If there are more skilled attacking players among World Cup entrants ranked outside FIFA’s top 20, it’s a very short list.

Only France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States finished the 2015 World Cup with a better goal differential than Cameroon, which scored five more goals than it conceded in four games. Granted, that had a lot to do with piling up goals against Ecuador in group play, but it also says something about how competitive Cameroon was from start to finish in its World Cup debut — a distinct improvement on its 2012 Olympics effort. Unlike then-newbie Thailand, which beat Ivory Coast in 2015 but was routed in its other games, Cameroon was competitive in every game.

Let’s hope the Lionesses stay competitive by playing attacking football, with intent and courage, dominating possession and allowing opposition players to adapt to their style of play.

Elume Raymond (Sports Analyst)


Vos commentaires

  • Le 3 juin 2019 à 19:14, par Footfootfoot En réponse à : FIFA World Cup 2019 : Group E Analysis – Cameroon’s daunting prospect and the clash of styles

    1 despite the fact that this team is aging and gaining weight (in general) very fast, the coaches keep calling the same old players. After the world cup players such as Manie, Feudjo, Songken should be excluded from the team because of age and their incapability to control their weight.
    Players such as Ngo Dom, Takounda should also be excluded from the group for being pure garbage. Im stll wondering why Mbape wasn’t called knowing how good she was during the tournament in South Africa.

    2 i don’t trust the coach, Djemfa’s an idiot. He gives the impression of knowing absolutely nothing about footbal neither does he know anything about his players. Any coach that insist on lining up a ridiculous goalie (Ngo Dom),a very obese midfielder (Raissa Feudjo) who can barely keep up with the opponent during a race and a non active player(Enganamouit) can only be qualified as an idiot.

    Besides that i really believe in the attacking trio of Abam, Ajara and Aboudi (the dribling rocket). With the great addition of Johnson i think the deffense can hold strong. We stiil have issues in the midfield with players that are either obese or often dissapear whenever the level of the game is raised up. As far as the goalie well lets just say the team will always finds it self in trouble because of the useless goalie.

    With all that being said i belive the Lionesses will defeat Canada, they will torch New Zealand and probably draw against Netherland.

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  • Le 3 juin 2019 à 22:52, par Kemet En réponse à : FIFA World Cup 2019 : Group E Analysis – Cameroon’s daunting prospect and the clash of styles

    There’s no such thing as an easy group, especially during the World Cup. The lionesses have treamendous talent that can definitely take them out of their group. All they have to do is play with heart, discipline and passion.

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  • Le 4 juin 2019 à 01:32, par bamyaben En réponse à : FIFA World Cup 2019 : Group E Analysis – Cameroon’s daunting prospect and the clash of styles

    Beware of Canada, which has a good goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, well known by Estelle and Michaela who played with her at FC SKY BLUE at NWSL, but also a formidable striker, the star Christine Sinclair of the Portland Thorns, Canada’s all-time leading scoring and No. 2 all-time in goals scored by a male or female.

    The Dutch, the scarecrow of our group, are European champions and have great players like Shanice Van Sanden, Vivianne Miadema, Lieke Martens, Danielle Van Donk, real killers ready to punish immediately every mistake of theirs opponents.

    The Netherlands, are of the same level as the team of France (The world bests) and Canada is of the level of Spain, the Outsiders, it shows the magnitude of the work ahead.
    We must raise our level and above all, be united, collective, rigorous, disciplined and avoid mistakes in the face of such opponents.

    Indeed, this group is not a sinecure, but it is playable, beat New Zealand and Canada and draw with the Netherlands, if not a draw with the Netherlands and Canada and beat New Zealand, with a score allowing us to move to the goal average.

    My only fear is our goalkeeper, Ngo Ndom not being a full risk insurance with her calamitous aerial exits.

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