League play resumed after the holiday break in much of southern Europe this past weekend and Cameroon’s players were involved in the action. Pierre Webo in Spain, Yohanna Buba and Albert Meyong in Portugal scored goals over the weekend in league play while Joseph Desire Job in England and Achille Emana in France scored in those countries’ Cup games.
The game between Espanyol and Osasuna matched Cameroonian players on both sides and Carlos Kameni and Pierre Webo each played key roles in the match eventually won 4-1 by Kameni’s Espanyol. Forward Pierre Webo opened the scoring for Osasuna in the 16th minute by controlling a pass and firing a left footed rocket from outside the penalty area into the net. Later in the game Webo almost scored again but his point blank header was well saved by his compatriot Kameni in Espanyol’s goal. Kameni also made several other acrobatic saves during the game to hold Osasuna to the one goal scored by Webo.
Samuel Eto’o started at forward for Barcelona but the new year did not begin well for either Eto’o or his club. They were soundly beaten 3-0 by Villarreal who pressured Barcelona’s midfielders and thereby starved Eto’o and the club’s other attackers of service. Eto’o’s one good opportunity he created himself. In the 2nd half he wriggled free from the close marking but his long range shot from over 30 meters out just went over the bar.
Daniel Ngom Kone even made a rare appearance as he briefly came on as a late sub for Getafe as his club achieved a good result holding Sevilla to a scoreless draw.
The Portuguese Super Liga also began play after the holiday break with a matchup of teams featuring Cameroonian players. Estoril’s 2-1 victory over Vitoria Setubal matched Estoril’s centerback Yohanna Buba against Vitoria Setubal’s forward Albert Meyong. And it was Meyong who opened the scoring in the match, scoring his 4th league goal of the season in the 11th minute as he snuck in behind Buba and Estoril’s other centerback to head home a cross. In the 2nd half Meyong nearly scored a second goal but his shot was well saved by Estoril’s goalkeeper. But it was Buba, who apart from his inattentiveness on Meyong’s goal, who was the star of the day. Buba, a converted striker, was active both defending and attacking for Estoril and in the 62nd minute he tied the scored with his first goal of the league season. Vitoria Setubal has become Buba’s favorite opponent, last season when both clubs were in the Portuguese 2nd Division, Buba scored a goal against Setubal in both league and Cup play. Meyong eventually left the match in the 72nd minute and Estoril subsequently got their game winning goal on an own goal by a Vitoria Setubal player.
It was a good weekend for Sporting Lisbon as they not only won the Lisbon derby over Benfica 2-1 but also overtook Benfica as legaue leaders. Rudolph Douala started at forward for Sporting in this match but had a disappointing game and was subbed out at the start of the 2nd half. Good news for 2000 Olympic Gold Medallist Clement Beaud. His international pass has finally come through from Latvia, where he used to play, and soon he will now be eligible to play for Academica Coimbra.
It was Cup action over the weekend in France and Achille Emana made headlines scoring Ligue 1 club Toulouse’s 2nd goal in their 3-0 win over amateur club Gambsheim. Compatriot Henri Bedimo Nsame also played, entering the game as a midfield sub in the 71st minute. Jean Makoun played in midfield as Lille defeated Le Mans 2-1. Alexandre Song started at centerback for Bastia but they were defeated by fellow Ligue 1 club Sochaux 1-0. Benoit Assou Ekotto played left back for Lens as they beat amateur side St. Dizier 4-0.
Other Cameroonians starting in Cup play were goalkeeper Gilbert Bayiha of Grenoble who defeated last year’s finalists Chateauroux 3-2; Salomon Olembe at left back for Marseille who were surprised by 2nd Division Angers also by a score of 3-2 (centerback Martin Ekani came on as a defensive sub in the 72nd minute for Angers); Herve Tum, who started at forward for Metz as they beat Rodez 2-1 and Pierre Njanka entered as a 81st minute defensive sub for Sedan as the 2nd Division club defeated 1st Division Strasbourg 3-1.
It was FA Cup time in England and Joseph Desire Job made the biggest name for himself amongst Cameroon’s England based players. He scored in the 76th minute as Middlesbrough defeated Notts County 2-1. Eric Djemba Djemba received a rare start for Manchester United in midfield but did notplay well in United’s scoreless draw with non league Exeter. The clubs will ahve to replay the match later in the month at Exeter.
Also receiving a rare start was Geremi, who played in midfield for Chelsea as they beat Scunthorpe 3-1. Geremi was subbed out of the game in the 69th minute. Matthias Doumbe played at centerback for Plymouth who lost 2-1 to Everton. Serge Branco made a surprising start as a right fullback and played 76 minutes for Queens Park Rangers in his club’s 3-0 loss to Nottingham Forest. Forward Patrick Suffo entered as a sub for Coventry in the 78th minute of his team’s 3-0 victory over Crewe.
Goalkeeper Pierre Ebede had an evenful day in Chalkidona’s 1-1 draw with Egaleo. In the 13th minute a Chalkidona defender miscommunicated with Ebede and made a poor back pass to him which allowed an Egaleo forward to break free in the penalty area with the ball. Ebede came out for the ball but missed and brought the opposing forward down for a penalty kick and as the last man back he was also shown a red card. Egaleo made the resulting penalty but Chalkidona, playing with 10 men, were eventually able to tie the match.
Guy Feutchine also was involved in a lot of action for PAOK Salonika in his club’s 5-2 win over Apollon. Feutchine started at right side midfield and played a key part in PAOK’s attacks. In the 48th minute a shot of his hit both the bar and the post but would not go in the net. Feutchine wasn’t able to convert the resulting rebound either. In the 89th minute he was eventually subbed out of PAOK’s convincing win.
Midfielder Joel Epalle and Panathinaikos reached a financial agreement to end his contract with the club and Epalle is now free to sign with a new team.
In Italy there were two rounds of league play this past week. Midweek in Italy’s Serie B (2nd Division) Antonio Ghomsi started and played the first 45 minutes at centerback for Salernitana in his club’s 2-1 loss to Verona. Ghomsi was subbed off at the start of the 2nd half a shis club went looking for more attack. Right side midfielder Thomas Job Iyock played 90 minutes for Pescara in his team’s 2-2 draw with Bari.
Over the weekend Job Iyock also played right side midfield for Pescara but they were beaten 3-0 by Crotone. Job Iyock was shown a direct red card for violent play in the 87th minute becoming the 2nd Cameroonian to be sent off this weekend in Europe. Antonio Ghomsi started at centerback for Salernitana in their 3-2 loss to Ascoli.
It was Cup day in Scotland as well but Gustave Bahoken’s Livingston had their game postponed due to inclement weather. Franco-Cameroonian Herve Ebanda did start at forward for 2nd Division Raith Rovers before being subbed out after 68 minutes but his club were beaten 2-0 by Alloa.
Martin COUTLER, email@example.com