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CHAN Preps: Cameroon play nervy draw with Djibouti

  • Substitutes Marou Souaibou and Serge Andoulou helped Cameroon dig deep for an equalizer to avoid a shock first defeat under Ndtoungou Mpile. 

By Beng Emmanuel

Serge Andoulo came off the bench to score a controversial late penalty as Cameroon’s Intermediate Lions avoided their first defeat under new head coach Martin Ndtoungou Mpile. 

The 2021 African Nation Football Championship (CHAN) bound failed to complete a double over Djibouti after a stunning comeback to beat the visitors during the first leg friendly on Monday. 

Mourad Abdoulkader fired Djibouti in front from an excellent solo goal after he eased passed helpless Junior Dande and nicely slotted the ball in an empty net. The Shore men of the Red Sea toiled to preserve their lead at the break.

The Intermediate Lions were more active and troubled their opponents on their return from the break creating several chances in front of goal but lacked the necessary composure. 

Cameroon thought they had found their breakthrough but substitute Marou Souaibou’s tap in from Samuel Nlend’s cross was ruled out for offside. The Coton Sport winger showed huge endeavours to level for the Lions but his shot went off target adding to many squandered chances.

Souaibou,  played a key role as Cameroon won a controversial late penalty which was brilliantly converted by Serge Andoulou.  

After conceding, Djibouti fought their way back but attempts to strike a surprise winning goal meet stiff opposition from a rarely threatened Cameroonian defence.  However, Djibouti held the Central African rivals at arm’s length until the dying seconds of the friendly encounter.   

The Intermediate Lions will continue their preparation ahead of the 2021 CHAN with several friendly games programmed for the squad. 

“We have discovered many boys who can play very well in the competition but we need more time to perfect and to train well. We are waiting for the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT. We’ve got some friendlies,” Ndtoungou Mpile told GinaInforms. 

Djibouti gave Cameroon a tough game. The team has scored twice against Cameroon and were close to clinching a memorable win in only their second international game since December 2019. However head coach Julien Mette has drawn the positives from the two legged fixture against the Lions in Yaoundé . 

“I am very satisfied. The second leg result is better than the first. That’s obvious. I have to be satisfied,” Djibouti’s Julien Mette said. 

“I am here with the team to learn. I saw a lot of difference between the first leg and the second leg. In the tactical point of view and in the mental point of view I am very satisfied,” he added. 

Cameroon is unbeaten in four games under Martin Ndtoungou Mpile. The Intermediate Lions have won two games and have drawn the others scoring at least once in all.

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