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Two talking points ahead of Cameroon’s do or die second leg Olympic Play-Off

Two talking points ahead of Cameroon’s do or die second leg Olympic Play-Off

by Agnes Amondi

Cameroon may be on the brink of Olympic elimination yet again, after their 2-1 first leg defeat to Chile on Saturday.

The Indomitable Lionness now have to score at least two unanswered goals, and/or have a caution of two goals, when La Roja Feminina host them on April 13, to have any chance of returning to the Olympics for a second time.

Jose Letelier charges grabbed two away goals courtesy of Camila Saez and Carla Guerrero, which means Cameroon will have to score two and keep a clean sheet or more should they concede, to clinch a ticket to Japan.

Be that as it may, Alain Djeumfa has to brush on a couple of areas of their game if his team is to have a fighting chance. Soka25east identified two key concerns that should be addressed for the do or die fixture.

Set Piece Defence

Both goals scored by Chile were from set pieces. Camila Saez headed home a Yessenia Lopez freekick on the 25th minute. It was well executed from the left of Cameroon’s playing area (Chile’s right wing), fairly deep into the hosts half and far enough for Biyina Michaelly in goal to see it coming.

Lopez deliberately targetted the near post which is where Saez ran to meet the ball. She peeled away from Marie Awona, got to the ball first, and Awona could only hope that the goalie would keep it out. Unfortunately, the ball recotched from Michaelly into the net. What was Cameroon to do?

The near post was largely unmarked. Collette Ndzana stood a few yards behind the three player wall to be the second line of defense and cut off any supply in and around the near post. However, Lopez’s ball had the flight and precision that breached Cameroon’s lines and exploited the gap for a first.

Guerrero’s second from a corner in the 74th took a similar partern. Ball into the near post, flicked and netted at the far post. In my humble assessment, this was a defensive plus goal keeping error.

Daniel Zamora flicked the ball from the near post, (again a Chilean players got to the ball first), sneaked it past the backline to a patient Guerrero at the far post who headed in unmarked with players around her caught ball watching. The goalie should have cleared the danger after the flick. The ball bounced right in front her and she watched it get pounced on by Guerrero.

The back line should tighten up, communicate, do proper marking and goalkeeper command her area if they are to evade conceding from set pieces.

Final third output

Cameroon have to be more productive and clinical in the final third. They created few clear cut opportunities – Gabrielle Ounguene header before half time together with a close range shot from Ajara that was deflected by Christian Endler in goal and eventually whisked away by Camila Saez on the line.

Throughout the match, Cameroon was very erratic with ball possession. Misplaced passes, unsupported play and long balls that played into the opponents’ hands affected their output. Much of their attacking display banked on individual ability and skill. Numerous times, Onguene the teams offensive outlet had to riggle her way past a handful of Chilean players, which made it difficult for any progress.

Ajara, the target at the top, took good positions in the field but had to fall back deeper to get the ball. If not, she had the ball lamped onto her path but defenders constantly monitored her. It finally materialised in the 74th minute with a fierce shot past Endler. Towards the end of the game, the hosts applied pressure to no effect.

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