- Only one of the previous five host nations have lost the opening match of the CHAN since 2009. Here are the stats.
By Beng Emmanuel
The Intermediate Lions of Cameroon face the Warriors of Zimbabwe in the opening encounter of the 2020 African Nations Football Championship today at 17h WAT, at the Ahamdou Ahidjou Stadium.
The host who are hoping to clinch their maiden CHAN trophy on home soil are poised to make a winning start in the biennial continental football tournament against their Southern African rivals.
During a press pre-match press conference on Friday the head coach of the Intermediate Lions of Cameroon Martin Ndtoungou Mpile admitted that the clash with Zimbabwe will be difficult but he believes his team has got the mettle to impose the dominance.
“The Spirit of the boys is very positive to participate in the competition. Cameroon respects its past glories and we are playing at home so we expect a great competition” Ndtoungou Mpile said.
If Cameroon beat Zimbabwe today, they will become the fifth nation to win the opening game in the CHAN-a tradition that has been respected since 2011.
Only one of the previous five host nations have lost the opening match of the CHAN since its inaugural edition in 2009. But only one of these host have successfully hosted the tournament and emerge victorious; Morocco in 2018. Cameroon hopes to be only the second nation to achieve the feat and their head coach believes it’s ‘possible’.
“All is possible. You know in football you cannot say before the competition that we are going to lose. All the teams are ready. All the teams want to win. With this group [players] it is possible,” Ndtoungou Mpile added.
Interestingly, there has never been a draw in any CHAN opening match. The host have dominated in all but one case. Here are the stats.
CHAN Opening Matches Since Maiden Edition
2009: Cote D’Ivoire 0-3 Zambia (Champions- DRC)
2011: Sudan 1-0 Gabon (Champions-Tunisia)
2014 : South Africa 3-1 Mozambique (Champions-Libya)
2016 : Rwanda 1-0 Ivory Coast (Champions- DR Congo)
2018: Morocco 4-0 Mauritania (Champions-Morocco)
2021: Cameroon vs Zimbabwe???
Will Cameroon maintain the host dominance or mar their chances?
Cameroon vs Zimbabwe
Venue: Ahmadou Ahidjou Stadium
Time : 5:00PM