By Beng Emmanuel
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon were held to a frustrating goalless draw against the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in their group F opener of the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Yaoundé.
It was coach Toni Conceicao’s first home game since his appointment as head coach of the Indomitable Lions.
Cameroon were the first to hit upfront when Micheal Ngadeu’s long range pass reached Toko Ekambi who unfortunately skied his shot with indecency.
The five time African champions rallied on but did not have the resources to offer any serious threat against a well organized and watertight defence.
Cape Verde’s Garry Mendes troubled the Cameroonian defence with his first attempt largely out of sight. The forward was close to the match opener but his effort was seen off by the Cameroonian keeper.
Cameroon’s best chance came from Kunde Malong who came close to put his team ahead but his freekick was far from being the price of their struggling first half endeavours.
The beginning of the second half was the opposite of the first .
Cape Verde were more offensive but failed to to show some attacking fluency.
Even Coach Toni Conceicao’s second half substitutions couldn’t make matters easier for the Portuguese tactician as he needed to inject confidence after an indifferent start.
2017 Afcon winner Vincent Aboubakar came off for Moumi Ngamaleu, Ignatius Ganago replaced Christian Bassogog while Antwerp striker Didier Lamkel Ze was a late substitute for captain Choupo Moting.
Cape Verde’s keeper Josimar Dias provided plenty of spectacular saves to banish Cameroon’s attacking threats. Cameroonian attackers were frequently set on goal but were unable to make the difference against the emblematic shot stopper.
Both teams shared points after a thrilling game but visibly satisfying for the visitors who earned a precious draw against the Lions.