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Cameroon fails to qualify for second successive Olympic Games

• The Indomitable Lionesses will not feature at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after losing to Chile on aggregate in the inter-continental Olympic Games qualifiers in Antalya-Turkey. 

By Beng Emmanuel

The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon have failed to qualify for the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after losing to Chile 2-1 on aggregate in the CAF/CONMEBOL playoff. 

Cameroon, who needed to win by a two goal margin were held to a goalless draw on Tuesday, during the return leg tie at the Arslan Zeki Demirci Sport complex in Antalya. 

Chile took control of the inter-continental play-off during the first leg. They edged Cameroon 2-1 in last week’s Olympic qualification playoffs on April 10, with Goals from Camila Saez and Carla Guerro. Atletico Madrid forward Nchout Njoya Ajara had halved the deficit to keep Cameroon’s hopes alive although with no success in the return leg fixture.  

It is the second time that the Indomitable Lionesses won’t feature at the Olympic Games after missing out in 2016. They made their debut in 2012 and were hoping for a return at the international multi-sport event held once every four years. 

Chile will be making their debut in the Olympic Games after their win over Cameroon. 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will run from July 23-August 8, 2021. This is the first time that the Olympic Games have been postponed and rescheduled, rather than cancelled.

Cameroon crash out despite impressive fight

Cameroon’s hope of participating at the Olympic Games for only the second time after 2012 is over. They failed to assert their usual dominance against a side who had given them a troubling first leg. 

The Lionesses’ display during the return leg fixture was more improved than the first, although they failed to score. They produced a tactically brilliant eye catching display and should have been worthy of being winners. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. 

Chile made things harder for them. The South American produced stiff resistance to banish offensive threats regularly. Nchout Njoya Ajara, Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Catherine Mbengono who lead the Lionesses’ attack were frequently snuffed off from supplies. And even after being smart enough to ease past their opponents, spurned their chances.

Cameroon played without three possible game changers. Spain based midfield maestro Raissa Feudjio was an unused substitute despite been cleared to play. Tchaptchet Chanel and Awona Aurelle were both tested positive for Covid-19. Nevertheless, they were packed with impressive attacking talent. But were unable to build on it, though with chances to restore parity. 

Cameroon players Tchaptchet Chanel and Awona Aurelle tested positive to Covid-19 [Source Fecafoot officiel]

Things got worse when Brigitte Omboudou was sent off at the 64th minute. Despite the numerical disadvantage, the African giants were relentless in the drive for qualification with some meaningful spell of possession. 

That didn’t work out after all. They failed to overturn the first leg deficit and lost a chance to make their comeback in the Olympics. 

Cameroon had failed to pick up a direct qualification after losing to Zambia on aggregate 4-4 during the final round of qualifiers in Africa. This disappointment adds to their woes in the Women’s African Cup of Nations where they are yet to make remarkable strides. 

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