(Buea-Cameroon) The African representative for the 2017 Confederation cup in Russia began their campaign in a bit of a slow and disappointing note. The Africa champions came face to face with Chile on their opening game on Sunday in Moscow.
The South American champions dominated the entire first half of the game with plenty of scoring opportunities. The Cameroonian team had their first opportunity to get the ball behind the net 10 minutes from the start time but Vincent Aboubakar was unable to transform this to a goal. Just 11 minutes before the end of the second half, Mokanjo missed another chance to put the indomitable lions ahead of their rival.
The biggest controversy of the game came when Chilean Arturo Vidal broke the deadlock only to be told that the video assistance referee reported the goal as an offside and that was how the first part of the game came to an end.
The second half of the game saw both teams determine for a breakthrough. Cameroon came on more powerful with their players making better passes and doing more of the attacking but still unable to put their name on the scoring sheet. Chilean defender Gonzalo Alejandro Jara received the first yellow card of the game at the 65th minute after he brought down the Cameroonian captain Benjamin Moukandjo just outside the 18 meter box. AS the match progressed, the South Americans missed so many scoring chances as they battled with their opponent with Chileans coming very close to scoring in several occasions.
Just 10 minutes to the regular finish time, Chilean attacker Vidal broke the stalemate by scoring through a header from a cross ball received from Alexis Sanchez putting his country one goal ahead of the Africans. The goal brought in much needed energy to the Chileans who continued mounting pressure on the indomitable lions before getting their second goal at the final minute of the game. The second goal put through by Eduardo Vargas was enough to bring victory and not even four minutes of additional time could help the Cameroonians change the outcome. ‘’Am only disappointed in the result am not disappointed in the team’’ the Cameroon coach Hugo Broos, said in a post-match interview.
Cameroon is appearing in the competition for the third time with their best performance recorded in 2003 when the team reached the finals only to be defeated by the host nation France. The five times Africa champions will take on Australia on their next match, meanwhile the Copa America winners Chile who came to the confederation Cup for their first time will be playing against Germany.
Written by Eyong Blaise