By Kila Jisi
The indomitable Lions in a laborious game beat visiting Guinea Bissau 1-0 to qualify for the second round of the African Nations Cup.
The match was played under heavy security, the Omnisport neighbourhood flooded with forces of law and order and the Tsinga Cameroon Football Federation, Fecafoot premises heavily guarded.
The measures were taken in case of an eventuality of Cameroon losing the game; angry fans should be prevented from venting their deception by destroying things.
The match played in an empty Amadou Ahidjo Stadium was an indication that Cameroonians had lost faith in the team.
On the field of play Lavagne brought in the same team that lost 2-1against Libya during the World Cup qualifier in Sfax Tunisia.
Not only did the attack with much difficulties fail to shoot, Kweuke was heavy and failed to nod two decisive headers pass goalkeeper Jonas Mendes.
Lavagne later justified his choice of Kweuke in the attack saying he worked hard for about an hour and the others took advantage of the work he did.
Playing a defensive game, the Lions held their opponents caged in their part of the field but could not break through their defence.
The fans in the stadium at a point started chanting Eto’o, Eto’o as if to say the Lions would have scored if Samuel Eto’o the four-time African Player of the Year were present. Samuel Eto’o is still serving his eight month ban for his role in the players’ strike in Marrakech last November.
The lone goal that saved the Lions from shame came in the 80th minute through Benjamin Moukandjo who connected a pass from Aboubakar Vincent, viewed by many as offside.
Though Fans contested the substitution of Choupo Moting with Aboubakar the latter changed the game and made decisive shots at gaol. Lavagne maintained that substituting Choupo was to inject fresh blood in the attack but this came very late.
However, many Cameroonians wondered aloud why a coach would call in players like Willie Overtoom an offensive midfielder who runs like wild fire, Joel Matip, Schalke O4 and Mathew Andongcho only to let them warm the bench.
Popular opinion has it that another coach would harness the potentials in players to come up with a more impressive squad.
Lavagne thinks the team with a group of young players at the attack is coming up slowly with a good team spirit present, but, requires amelioration in quality headers and play with little space in front.
“I thank the players for the victory which they looked for deep within, we started the match well but failed to concretise scoring chances because the Guinea Bissau team defended well with a goalkeeper that made about four good saves, we were patient and the goal came at the right time”, Lavagne said.
Guinea Bissau Coach Carlos Manuel Correira Dos Santos congratulated the Lions for the merited win saying his team had insufficient training coupled with the fact that new players integrated the team recently.