A Smooth Takeoff After all

Memories of the poor performances of the Intermediate Lions at the series of pre-African Nations  TOTAL Championship (CHAN) matches had not completely elapsed when the team surprised Cameroonians at the opening encounter edging the Warriors of Zimbabwe with a one nil defeat.  The victory, observers say, was logical considering that the team gave no breathing space to their opponent dominating the match throughout the 90 minutes. That they succeeded in bagging home all the three points appears to be the essential, for, in football what counts, they say, is goals. Analysts go the extra mile in considering this popular assertion of goals being the main aim of any encounter. How the team performs before coming out victorious is also a matter of serious consideration.  The second point worth considering is the worth of the opposing team. Although many left the Ahmadou Ahidjo’s Stadium satisfied with the victory, critics could not completely hold their breath. Many of them think Cameroon could have done better than scoring one dry goal against Zimbabwe that one could see weakness threading through the whole team.
All said and done, it was a good show for the Intermediate Lions and the population which played an important part as the twelveth player left the stadium satisfied. The absence of full confidence in the team driven by the pre-competition performance is not new among Cameroonians. One would hardly say whether or not this attitude spurs or draws back the team’s performances but experience in some cases shows such behavioral pattern have often led the team to victory. That was the case in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Italia ’90 where no one could imagine the Lions going through the eliminatory phase of the competition not to talk of reaching the quarter finals.    This wave of sentiment resurfaced in 2017 during the  31st edition of the Total Africa Cup of Nations round robin in Gabon where even the team’s trainer told reporters he was not sure his team will go through the eliminatory phase of the competition. And as nature would have, the Lions ended up grabbing the trophy.



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